Lawsuit challenges growing NPS trend to reject cash

By Michael Doyle | 03/22/2024 01:37 PM EDT

National parks are increasingly adopting cashless fee policies.

Entrance booths at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Entrance booths at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. National Park Service

The National Park Service’s adoption of cashless entrance policies at dozens of sites violates the agency’s mission to “provide for their enjoyment by the public,” three aggrieved park lovers claim in a new lawsuit.

Accelerating a dispute that’s already riled up some members of Congress, the three litigants contend in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the cashless entrance requirements frustrated their efforts to visit several different NPS sites.

“NPS cashless is contrary to law since American money is not accepted as legal tender to visit the nation’s treasures,” San Diego-based attorney Ray L. Flores II wrote, adding that “absent NPS Cashless, Plaintiffs would be able to enter these national parks.”


The park service has said it’s abiding by a Treasury Department policy set in the Trump administration that allowed federal agencies not to accept payments made in cash or by check.