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Exploring Recommendations From Department Of Interior Committee That Would Privatize National Park Campgrounds

Nov 4, 2019

A federal subcommittee has proposed new ideas in an effort to “expand and improve recreational opportunities” at national parks.

A federal subcommittee has proposed new ideas in an effort to “expand and improve recreational opportunities” at national parks.; Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

AirTalk®

Expanded Wi-Fi access. Food trucks. Amazon deliveries at campgrounds. These are just some of the ideas that a federal subcommittee has proposed as part of an effort that it says will “expand and improve recreational opportunities” at national parks.

Last month, the Department of Interior’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee submitted a memo to Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt with a number of recommendations that it wrote would “help overcome boundary issues associated with

Federal, State, local public lands and private enterprises as well as barriers for data sharing

among recreation agencies, partners, and providers.” The committee’s vice chair says the recommendations would offer park-goers additional costs if they want to enhance their experience by, say, having Amazon deliver your s’more-making material right to your campsite. But environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and others are pushing back against the recommendations, saying that this is just another attempt by the Trump administration to privatize public lands, which they say will eventually drive down attendance and limit the types of people who can afford to go. 

Guests:

Derrick Crandall, vice chairman of the U.S. Department of Interior’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, which developed the recommendations, and a counselor with the nonprofit National Park Hospitality Association, an organization representing U.S. national park concessioners that provide lodging, food service, gifts, equipment rentals and other visitor services in the National Park System

Kitty Benzar, president of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition, a Durango, Colorado-based nationwide network of people who advocate on behalf of public access to public lands

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.

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