Thanks to public outcry the National Park Service quickly withdrew an order issued last September that would have allowed ATVs into Utah national parks. But that doesn’t mean the Trump administration is backing off from efforts to monetize and overdevelop national parks.
The latest threat is a misguided plan cooked up by the “Made in America” committee formed by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The plan calls national park campgrounds an “underperforming asset” and outlines ways to squeeze more money out of park visitors by leasing popular campgrounds to private companies. These companies would be allowed to modernize/citify campgrounds by installing camp stores, food-trucks, wi-fi, electrical outlets, equipment rentals and other tourism infrastructure currently the role gateway communities. Perhaps the worst idea is a recommendation to replace the Recreation.gov reservation system with a system of campsite scalping for the profit of third-party vendors.
It’s clear that more public outcry is needed to keep national parks unspoiled and affordable.
“Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee: www.nps.gov/orgs/1892/made-in-america-rac.htm
This is an excerpt from our December EnviroNews column. View the full article here.