National Parks Need Public-Private Partnerships to Thrive

National Parks Need Public-Private Partnerships to Thrive

Fall is upon us, and that means millions of Americans heading to our public lands and waters to take advantage of cooler temperatures and enjoy healthy, active fun outdoors.  But will modern, world-class experiences be there to greet them?

In a new article in The Denver Post titled National Parks Need Investment from Private Companies to Thrive, Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) leaders Thom Dammrich and Frank Hugelmeyer emphasize the need for increased public-private partnerships and investment to help bring visitor experiences into the 21st century through innovations like front-country broadband connectivity, modernized campgrounds, electronic fee collection and more.  They applaud Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for harnessing the experience and know-how of the recreation industry by forming the Recreation Advisory Committee to examine how public-private partnerships can expand access and improve infrastructure.

"Public-private partnerships are a well-established solution (think ski areas, marinas and gateway campgrounds) that can harness the expertise and investment of the private sector and, under Zinke and bipartisan congressional leadership, achieve the upgrades desperately needed by outdoor enthusiasts across the country," they write.

Earlier this year, outdoor recreation leaders met with Secretary Zinke to present close to 30 ideas that can provide immediate and dramatic improvement to visitor experiences on public lands and waters. ORIR also met with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Jr. to discuss how outdoor recreation can expand and document its already sizable impact on the American economy.