No fee to go to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park when it opens

A Kansas commission has decided not to charge a $50 fee to visit a soon-to-open state park that includes a fragile landscape made up of chalky formations of spires and buttes.

The Wichita Eagle reports that scheduled tours of the 330-acre Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park in western Kansas will be free.

State Parks Director Linda Lanterman said at this month’s meeting of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission that the “goal is to make it affordable for all.”

Backlash from the public and The Nature Conservancy drove the decision to drop the so-called backcountry access pass. The $50 fee originally was proposed as a way to deter visitors from damaging the rock formations, which date back 85 million years to when the area was covered by a giant sea. Vehicle permits will still be required.

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Photo Courtesy: Laura Rose via The Nature Conservancy