Even though Yellowstone belongs to all Americans as part of our National Park System, Wyoming is proposing that all visitors to America’s first National Park be required to pay an extra fee to support the state’s Game and Fish Department.
Wyoming is a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies. The state manages a trophy hunting season in its northwest corner. In the remaining 85% of Wyoming (a.k.a. the “predator zone”), wolves can be killed by any means, at any time, without a license.
National parks do not belong to one state – they are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest. Moreover, each year, millions of Americans flock to Yellowstone in order to see the wolves, bison, bears etc… Should those Americans be forced to pay a fee to a state agency that seeks to destroy the very purpose of their visit? What say you?
If the fee is enacted, it will not be able to go into effect without federal action; the United States Congress would also have to act if the state fee were to be put in place.
Currently, there are no other national parks that have fees assessed that go to help state wildlife agencies. The Wyoming proposal is a first of its kind.