President Trump’s Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and unconfirmed acting National Parks Director David Vela released the administration’s national park ‘modernization’ proposal that would pave the way for monied private concessionaires to gain control of public assets likely leading to increased fees and further private development.
In response, Western Values Project Director Jayson O’Neill issued the following statement:
The Trump administration is plowing forward with a plan to give away America’s national park assets to monied private concessionaires without a Senate-confirmed national parks director in the middle of a pandemic. Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. This proposal is as wrong as it is backward.”
Previously, Western Values Project exposed the industry-laden committee’s recommendations that were submitted to the National Park Service, which led to the committee being disbanded — but its recommendations were still considered. Acting National Parks Service Director David Vela said that industry recommendations were ‘under review,’ and a review of the proposed rule finds that many were included.
Even the Interior Department’s own press release indicates that concessionaires are at the forefront of this giveaway and suggests that fees and goods would increase based on market forces.