Zinke suggests privatizing campgrounds in National Parks

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the National Park Service could address its $11 billion backlog of maintenance projects by turning services over to private companies. 

E&E News reports Zinke wants to establish more public-private partnerships to manage campgrounds and other services inside national parks.

“As the secretary, I don’t want to be in the business of running campgrounds,” Zinke told members of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. “My folks will never be as good as you are.”


We are going to have more public-private partnerships soon,” he said during the luncheon. “I think that’s where the industry should be going.”


At the same time, NPS plans to overhaul the roles and responsibilities of its workforce.


“We’ll be looking at where our employees should be spending their time,” he said. “Yes, cleaning the bathrooms. But actually running services, that’s something we should be pushing to somebody who’s updated and knows the market better.”

President Trump’s budget proposal would cut more than 1,200 full-time positions from the NPS if Congress approves the document.