The title is awkward or misleading, but "Buddhists angry again over temple entrance fees" in the Korea Times describes a problem that began two years ago.
Starting January 1, 2007, National Parks dropped their entrance fees but entry did not become free. Temples on the park grounds continued their fees (which had been about half of the original fee) and often increased them.
People have been upset about paying the fees to the temples when they visit the parks exclusively to hike and do not even go near the temples. More (actually, not much more, but..the same?) from this website at the time.
Finally, a group sued.
A provincial court’s ruling banning temples from collecting fees from mountain hikers has drawn strong protest from Buddhists.
The Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist sect in Korea, is even considering shutting down gateways to mountains owned by Buddhist temples.
The reaction came out after the Uijeongbu District Court ruled Tuesday that Jajaeam, a small temple on a mountain in Dongducheon, northeastern Gyeonggi Province, should return the entrance fee of 1,000 won ($0.65) each it had imposed on 22 climbers, who jointly filed a suit last August.
Commenters at the Korea Times are disgusted that the hikers are upset about such a small amount of money. I understand their (the commenter's) feelings but wonder if the hikers are more concerned about supporting Buddhism.
As a foreigner, Buddhism, even after ten years in-country, is novel and exciting for me. I don't mind giving them a little support.
At the same time, I am an atheist and unwilling to support religion in general and would not be eager to pay the fee if it supported a Christian church, for example. I understand that my viewpoint is contradictory but I hope it is not hypocritical. I am for supporting the temples for purely cultural reasons, even though I do not want to support any religion.
If the weather is good, I'll be hiking tomorrow at Seoraksan and I'll let you know about the fees there.