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DLNR expects to bring in $12M from park fees by the end of the fiscal year

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Funding to improve and manage Hawaiʻi's natural resources should be getting a boost this year, thanks to increased visitor fees at some popular parks and trails.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources says it's collected more than $9.5 million in gross revenue from fees — so far this fiscal year.

DLNR expects that figure to increase to $12 million by the end of the fiscal year in June.

State House Finance Committee Chair Sylvia Luke says that includes fees collected at Diamond Head State Monument, which increased its entrance fee from $1 to $5 in October 2020. The nonresident parking fee also increased from $5 to $10 per vehicle.

"Just in 2021, which we didn't even hit the million tourists mark, they at least doubled or could have tripled the amount of revenues collected — and that money, which now is close to $3 million, as opposed to $1 million just several years ago, can be reinvested right back into parks, and help in the maintenance and cleanup and provide a much better visitor experience for everyone who visits," she said, speaking to The Conversation.

DLNR says it first needs authorization from the Legislature to spend the estimated $12 million from fees at state parks.

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