YOSEMITE PROPOSES RAISING FEES
Visitors to Yosemite National Park may soon have to pay more to enter and camp overnight, under proposed fee increases announced Monday.
A seven-day pass for each car entering Yosemite could go up from $20 to $30, Ranger Scott Gediman said, adding that rates last changed in 1997. An annual pass would go up from $40 to $60.
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The extra money will go back into the park, repairing buildings, improving transportation and enhancing the visitor’s experience, he said.
Campers today spending between $5 and $20 a night — depending on the campsite — may have to pay between $6 and $24, and group campsites that cost $40 could rise to $48 a night.
The fees are changing to keep pace with inflation, officials said, adding that campground rates haven’t risen since 2006.
There is no proposed change to the $80 annual passes honored at all federally managed parks, the $10 entrance fee seniors age 62 and older pay and free park access for active members of the military, officials said.
The public has until Nov. 20 to have its say on the changes. If the new rates are adopted, Gediman said visitors may see the higher fees early next year.
SMITHSONIAN AIMS TO RAISE $1.5B
The Smithsonian Institution is launching a major campaign to raise $1.5 billion and increase private support for the world’s largest museum and research complex. Officials say more than $1 billion has already been raised since 2011 in the campaign’s quiet phase. Washington philanthropist David Rubenstein is co-chairman of the effort.
The Smithsonian has historically received federal taxpayer funding for about 70 percent of its annual budget for staff salaries and building maintenance. Many exhibits and programs are privately funded.
The public-private funding model dates to the Smithsonian’s founding in 1846, when a British scientist’s bequest established the institution. Now the Smithsonian includes 19 museums in Washington and New York City, the National Zoo and nine research facilities around the world.
MAGAZINE RATES CHARLESTON NO. 2
Charleston has been ranked the No. 2 travel destination in the world by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine — second only to Florence, Italy.
And, for the fourth straight year, Charleston has been named the top travel destination in the United States by the magazine’s readers. The travel publication unveiled its annual Readers Choice Awards on Monday.
The publication’s senior editor, Lindsay Talbot, says visitors to Charleston need to first walk along the waterfront, then wander the side streets to take in the city’s pastel-colored homes. And she noted that Charleston is known for its fine restaurants.