Press Release

More than 80 organizations object to proposed fee to protest on national mall

Oil rig demonstration on the National Mall

Merkulova Maria

The Wilderness Society and other organizations sent a letter today to the National Park Service opposing the proposed "protest fee" for demonstrations on the national mall.

In August, the National Park Service issued a proposed rule to introduce fees for holding protests on the National Mall.

The Wilderness Society is deeply concerned that this proposal would infringe on Americans’ rights to free speech and assembly. The financial barrier would preclude equal opportunity and access, dissuading and prohibiting some Americans from demonstrating. The ability to afford fees for permits must not be a factor in who gets the opportunity to protest at our most iconic and politically significant sites. We are building a broad coalition of opposition spanning lots of issue areas because free speech and assembly matter for all issues.

The Wilderness Society submitted a letter of opposition (see Letter to NPS link below) with more than 80 organizations signing on to defend protest rights on the National Mall. We encourage individuals to submit comments on the proposal here through Monday, October 15th.


The Wilderness Society, founded in 1935, is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. With more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.   

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