Each year, millions of Americans, and tourists from around the world, flock to Yellowstone National Park in order to see the wolves, bison and the park’s beautiful land formations. Yellowstone is an area devoted to land preservation and wildlife conservation.
Members of the Wyoming Legislature are now proposing that all visitors to Yellowstone be required to pay a fee levied by the state. The purpose of this fee would be to provide financial support to the state in order to promote wildlife conservation programs in the boundary areas around Yellowstone.
Wyoming Representative Albert Sommers has stated that the tax could be used for a variety of different issues. For instance, the animals in Yellowstone don’t always stay within the park’s borders. Money from the proposed state charge could be used to protect animals that go outside the park’s boundaries.
The money might also be used to find ways to lessen the chances of automobiles colliding with animals who wander outside Yellowstone. Also, money might be used to help compensate the owners of domestic livestock whose stock is killed by predators who wander in and out of the park’s protected limits.
Those proposing this new fee in Wyoming hope that the other states that share a border with Yellowstone will join in with their plan. While most of Yellowstone is within the borders of the state of Wyoming, parts of the park are also located in the states of Idaho and Montana.
If the fee is enacted, it will not be able to go into effect without federal action. Yellowstone is operated by the federal government, so 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.