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Old 10-15-2019, 12:17 PM   #1
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Plan to privatize Natl Park campgrounds


Just saw this and it is quite disturbing.

Oh joy [NOT]

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Old 10-15-2019, 12:48 PM   #2
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Come on it will be worth the $100 a night paid to Megacorp(tm) for your campsite to watch the glow from the Grand Canyon Uranium Mines!
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:55 PM   #3
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I really like visiting National Parks, but dislike dealing with Reserve America. If this new plan is put into effect, with more private sector involvement. it will be worse.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:44 PM   #4
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Privatizing National Parks.

Originally Posted by BatDude View Post

Just saw this and it is quite disturbing.

Oh joy [NOT]

Bat Dude

Bat Dude reported a news item, we have all heard it was coming. If you think the objective is to give better service, you are sadly mistaken. ( and I am sure you know that. ) Whether privatizing parks or services, or opening parklands to lumbering or mining , you know profit$ are the only motive. The color of your cap makes no difference ! ! David in Fresno and Sonora, CA
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:16 PM   #5
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Thank you Bat Dude for posting . Some people can find a hidden agenda in anything so don’t take it to heart. I find your post informative and I too share your concern .
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:36 PM   #6
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This article says the drafters want to improve accessibility to a younger, more diverse audience. From the National Parks I have visited, I've seen no such issue with access. The only turn away might be the entry fee if you don't have an annual pass, but the article says price increases for visitors are planned as well. Maybe they'll adjust prices a la Disney, with variable pricing throughout the year so you can only afford to visit during the high (read: nicer) season if you have plenty of disposable income: If you're poor, feel free to visit Yosemite in January when rates are lowest but don't forget your snow chains and 4x4, and also half the roads will be closed off.

Crandall proceeds to argue that federally operated campgrounds suffer from “inadequate and outmoded visitor infrastructure.” As one example, he cites the lack of wireless internet service, as well as a dearth of places to shop.
I may be in the minority on this one, but I don't visit National Parks or public lands to use their wifi or shop. Maybe I missed something at the National Mall... I'm happy (wife is thrilled) if they have flush toilets.

But eventually that program would be exported to other agencies within the Interior Department that manage public lands, including the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Not seeing how free, open land is somehow inaccessible to a "younger, more diverse audience" that still manages to flood instagram with photos of themselves on said land. Unless this is about wifi and shopping again.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:19 PM   #7
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Why do they want to attract younger people? Because they have more earning power which means potentially more disposable income. The baby boomers are retiring and their disposable income level frequently drops with retirement. Got to get the cash from some place to account for the increased wear and tear the sudden population explosion of retired persons is putting on the parks. So of course they are trying to improve their marketing to attract younger individuals to help offset that impact.

So instead of criticizing their plan for attracting younger persons you should be celebrating it. It lessens the burden on you and helps to offset the cost of your visits to national parks. The more those young folks and people of any age spend on souvenirs, hamburgers and such the more funds will funnel into the governments hands from the vendors to help pay the salaries of rangers and work crews who are doing the real backbone work out there on the land that all of us citizens own.

If you want to bring you own food great, if you want to buy a hamburger from a vendor then I thank you for your generous donation to the park service and for providing more employment to the young people who work for the vendors that manage the hamburger joints. Be sure to buy lots of trinkets as well. I buy thole tiny enamel pins now and again since they don't take up much space as a collection.

Sure the vendors pockets get lined as well but that is how it has always been and ever will be. I am a realist about such things, after all it happens at every movie theater in town with the high priced popcorn, candy and drinks. Please don't tell the movie theaters that I sneak my own treats in by filling up my coat pockets at home.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:27 PM   #8
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Just an observation . We have camped at 3 different State Parks in the last month . The sites with electricity & water were over 90% occupied . The rustic sites ( No water / electricity ) were 90% vacant . If the parks are going to be self supporting then they need to put fan’s in the seats .
Someone with a $200,000 motor home with all the amenities is not looking to camp in a Walmart parking lot . Federal & State Parks reserving rustic sites for non existent tent campers makes no financial sense .
The government is not exempt from market forces .
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The government is not exempt from market forces .

One of those market forces is that baby boomers are aging and less able and less inclined to use rustic facilities.
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:04 PM   #10
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Last time I parked in a state park it was in Oregon. I did not have an advanced reservation. My trailer is a 13', I did not need any hookups. The let me occupy a tent space to save me money. In fact they suggested that I take a tent space, I did not ask for it. Online reservations make such things more difficult to do. I was very glad there was staff on hand that afternoon.

As to getting rid of rustic tent spaces. I hope that never happens because they are necessary. Sometimes they are not accessible by driving a vehicle right up to the spot. So it is a good use of those parts fo the property that would otherwise go unoccupied. Many people who go camping do not own motorhomes, trailers, truck campers etc. Lots of people still use tents for their travels. My partner does that, he likes using a tent. Sometimes he is traveling by motorcycle and a tent or hammock tent is what he takes along.

But on the flip side a lot of RV parks don't want tent campers in them. Their spaces are planned out for maximum profits with higher fees. But when I went on a month long tent camping out of my car trip in France I did stay often in RV parks, every one of them allowed people to camp in tents. Of course no one had a big class A. It was all people with small vehicle, RVs and trailers there. Gas prices do make a difference as do very old winding hedge roads that really don't handle a big RV on them. Of course they do have major toll highways but the camping facilities are not usually close to such roads. Fine by me, I like to avoid the big highways, no much to be seen or enjoyed on them.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:11 AM   #11
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I have a sekrit campground that is run by the NPS. In fact, there are many little campgrounds up and down the river. There are no hookups. The spaces are paved and there are flush toilets. It is cheap when compared to Warshington's state parks, and is quieter, unless generators are going.

The campgrounds were planned before mega slide out RVs became popular. There are not many spaces for the monsters to park in. Methinks some pressure is being put on to update campgrounds for these beasts.

The concessions in both state and federal campgrounds are usually disappointing. The soft ice cream machine is broken down every time I go to get an ice cream cone. Or the place is closed. I'd rather just leave things the way they are.

And yes, people with $200,000 behemoths do want to park in Walmart parking lots. Our little town has two campgrounds within 5 miles and still the motorhomes stay at the Walmarche. It saves them $30 a night! The campgrounds are seldom full.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by BatDude View Post

Just saw this and it is quite disturbing.

Oh joy [NOT]

Bat Dude
Perhaps you only skimmed the article and missed this or perhaps this addendum was added post your reading.

“Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the advisory council’s memo is a recommendation to the Trump administration, and has not been adopted as policy by the Department of Interior.”

Que Sera Sera
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:54 PM   #13
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OK Folks - Moderator hat on:

This thread is predictably, getting personal and many posts have been removed and a few edited to remove specific political content. A few reminders from your beleaguered site team:

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Old 10-16-2019, 02:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Thank you Bat Dude for posting . Some people can find a hidden agenda in anything so don’t take it to heart. I find your post informative and I too share your concern .
See what I mean? It kinda makes your comment a non-sequitur , doesn't it!
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:43 PM   #15
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I witnessed this last winter in the Everglades. The campgrounds are privatized and the camping fees increased and the Senior Pass discount decreased to 10%
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:58 PM   #16
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I am really surprised that my post was booted. I did not think it was political, but balanced and fair. Since when is it political to state reasoning why I think the proposed action might be okay if undertaken on a limited, trial basis? If that is political, then the original post of this thread must be political as well!

Moderators do a great job, most of the time. But...
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:44 PM   #17
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Nanny State

Sorry I missed the fireworks postings...this is getting to be just like the networks and freedom of speech is becoming a rare commodity.

Hate the reservation racket. It was sold to the government entities as a way to raise revenue. The piece that is missing is how recreation is a societal benefit and by limiting it(through fees and capacity) is has the opposite effect.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:30 AM   #18
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Public Private Partnerships

Reservation only campgrounds. Many states have adopted them. Now some ACE campgrounds are changing over. I pulled into an ACE campground in western pennsylvania to find the iron ranger replaced by a phone. No one there to take my money. And even if there was some one there, they're not allowed to take it.

Using reserve america is a win win for campground officials be they state or federal. They get a reservation system that doesn't come out of their budget, has no employees on their pay roll, and is always open. Of course it increases the cost to the customer but they seem willing to pay it to get that perfect spot. Or in some cases any spot. As one campground host told me "it fills the campgrounds". I wonder how long it will be before you have to call reserve america to stay at a Walmart.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Osos1 View Post
Sorry I missed the fireworks postings...this is getting to be just like the networks and freedom of speech is becoming a rare commodity. ,,,
Ive seen that statement made about many forum sites over the years. And while I often don't agree with the way forums are run and which statements are deleted vs. which remain, the simple truth is this has nothing to do with free speech because this is a private venue, and the issue of "free speech" applies to the government placing restrictions.

Think of it this way... if you come to my home and start saying highly objectionable things, then I will tell you to stop or leave. If you ask the New York Times to give you a ten-page spread to say the same things, they won't let you do it for free.

But in the U.S. you still have the freedom to say about anything that you want in public or in your home (or in your own venue) and as long as you dont want someone else to pay the costs. You can even start your own Internet forum and set your own rules.

By the way, both your comment and my reply probably violate another forum rule (but perhaps they can remain as an explanation of why the "free speech" issue does not apply to a private internet site):

"Public discussion about moderation or moderator decisions is not allowed. If a moderator deletes or edits one of your posts and you disagree with the action, contact the moderator concerned. ..."
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:58 AM   #20
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I hope the new companies in the National Parks have self check in at the gates and in all of their food trucks and gift the big box stores are doing. We can eliminate all the jobs in the parks so these businesses can offer poorer service and make even more money. Hopefully....I can get a nice camp spot in a nice KOA right next to a foodtruck with WIFI and...who knows....fall to sleep at night listening to the rhythm of an oil rig pumping oil from under the ground close to Old Faithful. Can't wait for the elevator installation at Half Dome....always wanted to climb that rock but I got a bad knee. Lastly....I hope one of these new companies changes the expressions on the presidents at Mt. Rushmore....wouldn't require much....just raise up all of their eyebrows so they looked shocked at what big money is doing to our country and national parks. I am glad I have had the opportunity to visit our national treasures before they become ruined. Safe travels all!
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