Your Dollars At Work

How Recreation Fee Dollars are Utilized

The National Park Service works "....to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (NPS Organic Act 1916)

Protecting our natural and cultural heritage while ensuring that visitors have a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience is expensive. As the number of visitors to parks continues to climb due to the popularity of our national treasures, government funding available for necessities such as road and building repairs, campground maintenance, visitor protection, resource protection and other services has not kept pace with demand.

In 2004, to address these needs, Congress signed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) which allows the U.S. Department of the Interior to implement an interagency Fee Program in three of its agencies-the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The program also includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. The program directs funds collected from park visitors towards the upkeep of the services and facilities they are utilizing.

Capitol Reef National Park is a participant in the Interagency Recreational Fee Program. The program authorizes Capitol Reef National Park to keep up to 100% of the fees collected in the park. These funds have been and will continue to be used for maintenance, repair projects, public service programs, signage, and natural and historical resource preservation.

Some recent projects undertaken at Capitol Reef National Park utilizing recreation fee dollars are listed below.

 
a display of the geologic layers of Capitol Reef
Outdated Capitol Reef stratigraphy column showing 17 layers, geologists now recognize 19.

NPS

Visitor Center Renovation and New Exhibits


Beginning in September 2020, the Capitol Reef Visitor Center will undergo renovations and new exhibits will be installed. The improved visitor center is expected to reopen in the late spring or early summer of 2021.

*The relief map was not harmed in this update, it is in storage until it can safely be displayed again.
 

Trail Maintenance


In 2019 and 2020, seasonal trail crew workers were hired with recreation fee dollars to improve trails throughout the Fruita area. Properly maintained trails allow visitors to more safely experience all the park has to offer.
 
Frying Pan Trail Improvements
rocks and boulders of various sizes obscure the trail rocks and boulders organized into steps and a clear trail
Before trail improvements the path was hard to follow NPS/Joe Sauls
Clear steps and an easy to follow trail NPS/Joe Sauls
The trail crew worked on many park trails in the winter and spring of 2020. The images above are before and after photos of a section of the Frying Pan Trail. Slide bar left and right to compare the images.



 
a ranger presenting a program to visitors with sandstone cliffs as a backdrop
Rangers give daily Geology talks at the visitor center

NPS

Seasonal Ranger Staff

Each year additional staff are hired for the busy season. From May through October, these rangers staff the visitor center, provide free public programs, and assist visitors with trip planning. When you visit the park, chances are that you will interact with one or more of the seasonal park rangers.

Additionally, the Capitol Reef Visitor Center will soon undergo a rehab project before new interpretive displays and exhibits are installed. Previous exhibits were over forty years old and temporary exhibits have been on display for the past eight years.
 
side by side images of a red rock sign that states Capitol Reef National Park

NPS

Maintenance Projects

The majority of recreation fee dollars fund maintenance projects. From refurbishing the park entrance signs to the upkeep of the Fruita Campground and orchards, your fee dollars are at work.

Recent projects include:

  • Installing a campground sprinkler system to reduce water usage

  • Graffiti removal on trails

  • Repair and improve orchard fences and gates

  • Improve trails

Last updated: August 26, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775

Phone:

435-425-3791
Recorded park information available 24 hours a day. Phones are answered when staff is available. If no one answers, please leave a message, your call will be returned. Questions may also be sent to care_information@nps.gov.

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