"Parks, which have billions of dollars in overdue maintenance projects, are already facing their own financial woes. Margaret Walls, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a Washington, D.C., think tank, said relying on park fees for state and private conservation revenue is 'a non-starter, politically and practically.'
Walls’ recent research focuses on another often-proposed — but hard to pass — funding model for conservation: taxing outdoor gear purchases. Unlike park fees, which affect everyone equally and can be a deterrent to low-income visitors, a 'backpack tax' means that the people who buy more expensive gear end up contributing more, Walls said. But such fees face a staunch and well-heeled opponent in the outdoor gear industry."