Lummis Introduces Bill to Require National Parks to Accept Cash

September 21, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the Protecting Access to Recreation with Cash (PARC) Act, which would require national parks to accept cash as a form of payment for entrance fees. The bill will ensure that people in Wyoming have access to the spectacular array of national parks across our country and that tourists from around the world will continue to be able to visit Wyoming’s national parks without hassle.

“Having a credit card should not be a requirement to enjoy the great outdoors,” said Lummis. “America’s national parks system offers an unmatched window into the natural beauty and history of our land. Allowing the most universal form of money to be used is the best way to maximize the amount of people who visit and enjoy these one-of-a-kind icons.”

“America’s National Parks showcase some of the most beautiful places on earth. We must make sure these national treasures remain accessible for all visitors,” said Barrasso. “Senator Lummis’ PARC Act will ensure that visitors have more options for admission to experience our incredible National Parks.

“West Virginia is recognized around the world for our natural beauty and splendor, and we take great pride in our National Park Service locations. West Virginians and visitors alike should not be denied the opportunity to see parks that require entrance fees because they prefer to pay in cash,” Capito said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation to ensure this level of access is maintained for all NPS units across our country.

“Cash is reliable, universal and secure,” said Crapo. “This legislation ensures continuity in America’s National Park system and allows all visitors to access our majestic national parks without placing limitations on accepted forms of payment.”

“I may be biased, but one of the nation’s best opportunities to get outside and enjoy natural beauty is Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota,” said Cramer. “Our National Parks belong to the American people and access shouldn’t depend on whether visitors can use a credit card at the entrance booth. Cash is still legal tender in the United States, and the National Park Service should recognize it as such.”

“All Americans should have access to our nation’s public lands, but, for some, requiring a credit card to pay entrance fees has prevented entry to our national treasures,” said Risch. “This legislation will require all National Park Service properties to accept cash, allowing Idahoans, tourists, and locals to easily experience all our public lands have to offer.”

The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

Click here to view the bill.


Currently 21 National Parks have stopped accepting cash. 

Why cash should be universally accepted in national parks:

  • Cash is reliable
    • There is always the possibility that a credit or debit card could be declined, or that the card reader could malfunction.
    • This could leave visitors stranded at the entrance to the park, unable to pay their entrance fees. Cash, on the other hand, is always accepted.
  • Cash is universal
    • Not everyone has a bank account or credit card, and those who do may not want to use them at a national park. Cash is a more convenient option for these visitors.
  • Cash is more secure 
    • There is always the risk of credit or debit card fraud. When visitors pay with cash, there is no risk of their personal information being stolen.
  • Accepting cash is consistent with small government principles
    • The government should not interfere in the lives of citizens more than necessary. By requiring visitors to pay with credit or debit, the government is effectively forcing them to use a particular form of payment.