There's been some discussion lately over declining visitation in national parks and attributing it to increases in gate fees. Check out this story last week in the USA Today.
Having spent 10 years within the parks, it's a shame seeing a family balk at the $80 annual pass to visit ALL the U.S. National Parks in a year when they think nothing of dropping $60+ per person for theme park admission.
When are people going to wake up and appreciate the national park system? Or, are people making a non-verbal statement and actually protecting the park by not visiting? Maybe it's just people are too busy to care.
In either case, I can't resist plugging my Safety Tips for Visiting National Parks article. Now go take a hike!