NTA, industry partners, meet with U.S. Dept. of the Interior
February 6, 2018
NTA President Pam Inman, CTP, CAE, IOM, along with Peter Pantuso, president and CEO of the American Bus Association, and Stacy Tetschner, president and CEO of the United Motorcoach Association, participated in a meeting Feb. 5 with senior officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior and National Park Service. The group assembled to discuss proposals to increase fee schedules, enforce collection of commercial use authorization permits and establish seasonal peak pricing on commercial entry fees at 17 national parks.
NTA, in coordination with other key associations, initiated this meeting as a follow up to the letter submitted to Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke on Nov. 14, 2017. Further, our members and fellow industry partners have done much to weigh in on this DOI/NPS decision thus far.
Mr. Jason Larrabee, principal deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, and currently one of the most senior political appointees at DOI, led the discussion. The meeting further included Dan Smith, acting director of NPS, and Lena McDowall, NPS deputy director of management and administration.
The most significant takeaway was that the department is currently reviewing more than 110,000 comments and recommendations, and that we should expect to see a final announcement in the next few weeks. At this juncture, it is unclear how much change will be made to their initial policy proposal.
This meeting was critical in reinforcing the detrimental effects that this decision could have on the bottom lines of all our members, and simultaneously enabled us to stress the outstanding concerns that NTA, and others have on how this policy change will impact our ability to operate. We will continue to have further engagement with these senior officials and others in Washington more broadly on this going forward.
Our meeting was vital in reinforcing an open line of communication and ensuring that continued engagement with the department and NPS continues. We will provide follow up information as we obtain it.