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Concessionaires Push Point That National Park Service Lacks Business Savvy

Jul 29th - 23:19pm | ecbuck

So tell me Ron, why was my stove and coffee pot an issue?

Jul 29th - 21:07pm | rmackie

Julie, excellent post. There is an book, "ALL ABOUT BEARS", by Rachal Mazur, just a very educational read on the issues of bear management in our National Parks. Rachal is a pro, highly educated, been working on this issue her entire career.

Jul 29th - 16:37pm | ecbuck

"While this regulation and/or its enforcement may seem “inconvenient”, it is just one of the many efforts of the National Park Service to do its job. Which in this case, was keeping you and other campers safe,"

Jul 29th - 16:22pm | Julie Doyle

It is unfortunate that you were “annoyed” by being warned about your grill. When you could have been thankful that this individual was looking after your safety, as well as letting you go with a mere warning, and not an expensive citation (and/or confiscation of your grill). This is a NPS regulation.

Jul 27th - 08:59am | ecbuck

"What's the net benefit?" A legitimate question.

Jul 27th - 07:07am | Alex Worthington

Increasing the operating hours that parks are open will certainly increase revenues for concessioners, and the franchise fees to the parks. But what about increased operating costs and maintenance due to the longer hours. What's the net benefit?

Jul 26th - 08:28am | ecbuck

"Limiting visitation or services, for any variety of reasons, across the park system, is essential for preserving these places." Could you explain how lengthening the hours to visit Alcatraz or the Statue of Liberty (the two examples cited in the article) is essential for preserving them?

Jul 25th - 19:56pm | Kurt Repanshek

Ron, I'm going to have to start charging you an advertising fee....

Jul 25th - 18:53pm | ecbuck

Speaking of Yosemite, my son and daughter are hiking Half Dome tomorrow. I can assure you, they will enjoy the concessions at the end of the day.

Jul 25th - 18:44pm | Julie Doyle

The National Park Service is in the ‘business’ of protecting the natural, historic, and cultural aspects of all our national treasures in its charge. Limiting visitation or services, for any variety of reasons, across the park system, is essential for preserving these places.

Jul 25th - 18:32pm | rmackie

Kurt, or who has the inside political tract. I am beginning to be a bit of a broken record, but the book "YOUR YOSEMITE" written by a former superintendent of that Park who also has a very impressive resume both in non-profits, etc. will help EC greatly as it deals with many of the points he is making.

Jul 25th - 17:29pm | ecbuck

"especially when that phrase is followed by "could increase franchise fees to the NPS by 50 percent within three years."

Jul 25th - 17:25pm | SmokiesBackpacker

I'm reminded of the time that the cigarette company officals stood and lied before congress to say that tobacco wasn't deadly.

Jul 25th - 16:41pm | Anonymous

Sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. Three flush facilities are open in the winter as are eight vault toilets and many, many frost free hydrants. Maybe you should work to get your "facts" straight about SNP

Jul 25th - 13:23pm | Kurt Repanshek

EC, I'm curious to learn more about "dynamic pricing," but my guess is that it calls for higher prices, especially when that phrase is followed by "could increase franchise fees to the NPS by 50 percent within three years."50 percent is a fairly large jump in three years, don't you think?

Jul 25th - 10:27am | ecbuck

Kurt - couldn't "dynamic" also mean reducing prices? If their costs vary shouldn't they be able to vary their prices accordingly? But lets get to the root of it. Megaera expects the concessionaires to sell at a loss so the non "rich" can get their entitlement.

Jul 25th - 10:24am | Harry Butowsky

I find it distressing that considering the importance of the role of Concessions in the history of the NPS that we do not have a comprehensive administrative history on the subject. Concessions have played an important and vital role in the history of our national parks and an administrative history of the subject is long overdue. Harry Butowsky

Jul 25th - 10:05am | Kurt Repanshek

Perhaps not arbitrarily, but:...allowing dynamic pricing of services...

Jul 25th - 09:31am | ecbuck

So Chrys, where does it say they will arbitrarily raise prices?

Jul 25th - 08:24am | Chrys

I think Megaera may be referring to what will undoubtedly be a raise in prices which limits accessibility to those who can afford higher prices

Jul 24th - 21:30pm | wild places

I'm not ready to jump on the concessionaires bandwagon as they are lobbying for their own interests which I am sure differ at times from that of the NPS. I am not sure increasing visitation should be a goal as at some point it detracts from the experience and I think there is plenty of evidence that many of the parks are already overcrowded.

Jul 24th - 20:17pm | Chuck

Hmm..makes me wonder. Is this issue associated with no tap water supply and no accessible rest rooms during the winter months at SNP?

Jul 24th - 18:28pm | ecbuck

(May be a duplicate) Megaera - did you post to the wrong article? I don't see anything here that suggests the concessionaires don't want to provide services to everyone. In fact, I read just the opposite. They want to provide more services but the NPS won't let them.

Traveler's View: Wilderness Hanging In Balance At Big Cypress National Preserve

Jul 29th - 14:34pm | Rick Smith

Bad decision by all involved. I am certain this will end up in court.

Building A National Park From Scratch

Jul 29th - 13:05pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Dear Anonymous, During the shutdown the citizens of TN did pay for the operation of the park. However,

Jul 28th - 22:30pm | tomp2

The long-winded anonymous addressing SBP was me (tomp2). Somehow when I log in from one computer I get to be tomp2, but logged in from another computer I am an anonymous coward.

Jul 28th - 14:41pm | Deb

Let me know when your park is up and running because I WANT TO VACATION/CAMP THERE. :-)

Jul 28th - 12:35pm | Anonymous


Jul 28th - 01:34am | tomp2

The questions somewhat imply a natural resources / scenery park, not a historic / cultural park, so that's how I'll answer.

Jul 27th - 15:32pm | Bill

Sweet, if you don't like it then stay out. More room for me!

Jul 26th - 20:56pm | SmokiesBackpacker

If you were given 500,000 acres from which to design a national park, how would you do it, where would you start? It's already happened, Kurt. It is called the Great Smoky Mtns National Park and the land was given to the NPS by generous residents of North Carolina and Tennessee. And now we have to pay the NPS to use it.

Jul 26th - 12:02pm | NormalReactionS...

Great questions. The new park has to be accessible to be enjoyed. So, I start with infrastructure. I am mostly a developer with the primary goal of protecting. I'd try to do spoke and hub. Leaving sections more wild and some more developed. Try to give something for everyone.

National Park Service Says Ranger Ranks On Decline

Jul 29th - 10:21am | Skip Prange

The NPS and it's Superintendents have always had a love hate relationship with its cadre of Protection Rangers. Law Enforcement in the parks has always been considered a necessary evil by park managers. And with the ever shrinking federal budget, law enforcement continues to be short changed in many of the parks.

Jul 28th - 14:05pm | Anonimity

Keep drinking that conservative kool aid buddy!

Jul 27th - 20:34pm | Anonymous

The respectful and intelligent people have left or are leaving. I've noticed this change at two local parks. They are tired of environmental agenda dictating them and the leftist politicization. What do you expect?

Jul 27th - 19:35pm | Alfred Runte

What happened to all of that beer money?

Reader Survey Day: How Far From The National Park Parking Lot Do You Venture?

Jul 28th - 17:51pm | snowwhite

My husband and I travel to a National Park once a month all over the country. We typically hike about 10 to 12 miles each day, carefully planning our itinerary. It is our experience that the trails are deserted after about 1 mile from the visitor center or road. For us, that is perfect as we enjoy the solitude of our beautiful parks!

Jul 28th - 14:08pm | Brown

I am not brave and don't go too far, especially in the West. Thank goodness there are beautiful things to see close to the lots. We take boat rides, Ranger tours, and hikes of less than 3 miles. There are good things for all of us to see, thanks to fine planning by the Park Service.

Musings From John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Jul 28th - 13:28pm | Arthur Foley

Very informative article! I visited John Day Fossil Beds in 2002. I can attest that it is located in a very remote area of the state. I recall it being a long drive to Prineville for gas and dinner!

Op-Ed|How Eco Is Ecotourism?

Jul 28th - 10:49am | Alfred Runte

And when Johannes, aka Al Gore, flies home, he writes a book about global warming. The penultimate paragraph here says it all. It is the many destructive, "profound" changes to the natural landscape that have caused the problem in the first place.

Jul 26th - 10:26am | tahoma

This article does a good job of illuminating impacts of tourism at the host location, but whether your chosen destination is 'eco' or otherwise, just the indulgence of travelling to it, especially by air, might have the largest worldwide "consequences":

Photography In The National Parks: How It All Started For Me

Jul 28th - 07:47am | Anonymous

I enjoyed this article, appreciated the insight, photos and inspiration tips.

Treasure Your National Park Visits With A Photo Album From Shutterfly

Jul 27th - 20:28pm | Micharel Maine

I really enjoyed the park at St. Augustine and the help I received from the Park Ranger. Thanks

Yellowstone National Park Concession Worker Missing In Yellowstone River

Jul 27th - 13:09pm | JohnKC

These aren't "kids". They know better but choose to either disregard warnings or safeguards for their personal safety. All accidents are preventable.

Jul 26th - 01:17am | david kornelussen

with the abundant search by air ground showing no results it's possible that the water temp, exhaustion of the struggling, and light frame of the person missing, that his body might be being held in an undercurrent or whirlpool behind a boulder/tree in a heavy current area.

Jul 25th - 21:31pm | Noel Holmstedt

This happened last year!! Kid died tubing in the exact same place! It seems as if every year a young worker dies in Yellowstone from either going into areas they aren't supposed to be or doing things they aren't supposed to do(usually a combination of both). Evidently the dangers of this place are not being properly impressed upon these young, and often foreign, seasonal workers.

House Subcommittees Dissecting National Park Service, Searching For Solutions

Jul 27th - 11:08am | rmackie

Anonymous, an excellent postin , you have it right on my own view of the issue.

Jul 27th - 08:54am | dm

Megaera and tomp2 have funneled down to the core points. The childish name calling of the other comments is pitiable.

150 Miles Long and Still Counting - Jewel Cave National Monument Passes a Milestone

Jul 25th - 23:10pm | Dee R

I did the Spelunk tour in the early 90's. I see they have made the group smaller now, and still make you crawl the block on the one patio. Big tip. Crawl it on your stomach, that's the position you will be in when you go through the Brain Drain.

Rangers Rescue Pair Reported Trapped In Old Mine Near Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Jul 25th - 10:18am | Skip Prange

I remember when we spent time during the winter season fencing off the vertical mine shafts so that visitors and ORV's would not fall in them by accident. Never saw a rattler in any of them but I did see a lot of Barn Owls nesting and roosting in them.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide