Seven West Virginia Parks to Charge Entry Fees—NOT

In mid-April, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources announced that a $2-per-car entry fee would be charged at Coopers Rock State Forest and at Babcock, Blackwater, Cacapon, Little Beaver, Pipestem and Valley Falls state parks.  This was to be a pilot project, expected to raise $1.1 million in revenue in 2017 to help with maintenance and upkeep costs.  This was a pilot project with the possibility that the program would be extended to other parks.  The program was to go into effect Memorial Day weekend.

A few days later, Governor Justice announced that the fee had been cancelled.

Which part of this story is the good news and which is the bad news depends upon your view of entry fees on public lands.  In the past West Virginia Highlands Conservancy members have expressed different opinions on the subject.  It has always been our position that West Virginia should provide adequate funds for parks from some source.