With ethics scandals plaguing Park Service officials right up to the agency Director, a House subcommittee took a look at the overall culture that allows violators to be promoted instead of punished. Shortly after, the NPS Director apologized in writing to all NPS employees. Is he trying to save his job?
Outside Magazine rails against the privatization and commercialization of the National Parks that is being pushed by NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis.
The Denver-owned park on Mt Evans in Colorado is adding its own $5 fee to the one charged by the US Forest Service, making full access to all the facilities on the mountain a whopping $15 per day. But thanks to the lawsuit several years ago by two Colorado wilderness users, supported by the WSNFC, you can still drive the road for free, and even visit the developed facilities for free so long as you park some distance away and walk in. Walk on!
Another take on the decision by ethically challenged NPS Director Jarvis to seek corporate funding for our National Parks. “Having Jon Jarvis as the arbiter of propriety in fundraising is like putting a kleptomaniac in charge of mall security.”
A remote hike-in swimming hole called Paradise Cove in the Guffey Gorge is being proposed as a new fee site by the Rio Grande Field Office of the Colorado BLM. The site has become a party spot, with alcohol and loud music increasingly problems. But instead of patrolling for drunks and other partiers, the BLM just wants to make sure everyone who parks by the road has an “I Paid My Fee” tag on their dashboard. Yeah, that’ll solve it!
The National Park Service, formerly one of the most highly regarded agencies in the federal government, has been racked by a series of scandals, including a reprimand of its Director, Jonathan Jarvis, by the Inspector General for ethics violations. Now that same Director is expanding the role of corporate funding in the National Parks. Here, the Washington Post takes a close look.
It’s not just federal fees that are unpopular. A proposal to put “dynamic” pricing on a North Carolina State Forest has been shut down. “Dynamic” is code for the price is highest for the most popular places at the best times of year. Short on cash or have an inflexible schedule? Guess you have to just stay home. Hooray for North Carolinians for killing this terrible idea.
At the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, there has been a fee for years to enter the Visitor Center. Now it’s being extended to include the viewing platforms outside and even the use of the restrooms.
A long time Park Service official explains eloquently why access to National Parks and other public lands should be free.
Belated posting of an excellent article about the libertarian experiment of managing the Valles Caldera Preserve in New Mexico as a financially self-supporting entity after it was purchased with public funds.