Lujan Grisham admin. trying to raise fees for state parks by over 100%

Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s State Parks Division is set to update its fee structure by significantly raising fees across its 35 state parks. 

Wendy Mason, the division’s marketing and public relations manager, highlighted in a discussion on “New Mexico Living” that the parks are part of the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department and are tasked with generating a significant portion of their budget—75%—through park fees and other self-sustained revenue streams.

Mason said state parks have been grappling with staffing shortages and constrained budgets, which is why the proposed price hikes. “Nothing is permanent right now,” Mason emphasized, indicating that the division is in the process of determining the most suitable fee adjustments after conducting studies and seeking input from the public.

Among the proposed changes are the removal of day-use fees for New Mexico residents to encourage more visits, the discontinuation of annual passes, and modifications to camping, utility, boat registration, and launching fees. Mason said that the elimination of day-use fees for locals aims to make the parks more accessible for exploration and enjoyment.

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However, it would not raise such fees for overnight stays. According to a study commissioned by the division and reported by KOAT & News, “The study shows proposed fees such as raising day-use per vehicle from $5 to $10; raising camping fees from $10 to $20 a night for New Mexico residents; electric service from $4 to $10 a night; water service for $10.” These proposed increases would cost over 100 percent more.

New Mexico House Republicans have come out unanimously against the proposed fee increase, writing, “The proposals appear likely to result in more than $6 million in additional revenue collection for the Division, which will more than double the revenue the Division is collecting in state park fees. Given the timing of the Division’s publication of the proposed rule – at the conclusion of the 2024 legislative session – this appears to be an end-run around the legislative process and a means for the Division to ensure its FY25 budget aligns with its requested budget levels rather than living within the means established by the Legislature.”

“New Mexicans are among the most economically challenged Americans. Rasing our fees to be consistent with the fees of neighboring states – which in some instances results in increases of 200% – fails to account for the vast differences in wealth of residents in our neighboring states, all of which have significantly fewer people living in poverty. The increased fees and new fees will make activities like camping, boating, and paddle sports unaffordable for many New Mexicans at a time when they are struggling to keep up with the significant inflation of recent years,” the House Republicans added in the letter.

Public input meetings will be held before April 1, and more information about them can be found here.


11 thoughts on “Lujan Grisham admin. trying to raise fees for state parks by over 100%”

  1. She really has no limits does she. With the raise she gave Maggie Toulouse Lautrec (over $50,000/year) during last year’s marathon of wasting-our-money, she could pay for everyone!

  2. Ditch the witch!!! Why hasn’t she been impeached yet??? I don’t understand HOW she has gotten away with her shenanigans. Get her the hell out of office!!!

  3. Check the license plates of the campers in our parks. Guessing the out of state campers far outnumber the New Mexico tourists. Let those folks pay more.
    Much ado about nothing but getting the readers of this “blog”* all fired up.
    *If that’s what this is

  4. Another typical money grab by Loserjan and her corrupt cronies! It will be a joyous day in New Mexico the day she is removed from office and there will be dancing in the streets! Arrested,handcuffed and dragged out of the roundhouse — by her feet or hair!

  5. Keep the rates low for struggling New Mexicans. Fees can be increased for out-of-staters, but do not hurt the tourism industry as New Mexico relies on that too.

  6. Getting rid of the annual pass ? It’s the only reason many out of staters visit New Mexico at all. And spend a significant amount supporting local economies.
    I’ve met many New Mexicans who use it also because of their economic status.
    Typical brain dead democrat mind set. Burn it all down, and we’ll build it back worse than before.

  7. New Mexico has only one nice thing; LOTS of outdoors and nice weather to enjoy it….100% increase for locals is immoral and Evil and truly hit the low income New Mexicans.Typical Socialists, kill business forcing minimum wages and other unconstitutional measures then raises everything for the minimum wage workers & their families🙄…But you can camp for FREE in the nices parks and anywhere if you’re illegal…

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