Privatization Imperils Parks

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   May 21, 2003
Contact:   Ronald J. Tipton, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3915
Kate Himot, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3311


Privatization Imperils Parks

- The Bush administration's privatization plan for the National Park Service will neither benefit our treasured national parks nor improve NPS efficiency or effectiveness. And it is not designed with the type of quality control and oversight that a private enterprise would demand when making a similar decision. Instead, it could result in the dismantling of an institution acclaimed by the American public as the guardian of our natural and cultural heritage.
National Park Service Director Fran P. Mainella has warned that privatization could have a substantial negative effect on the diversity of the Park Service workforce, on the experience of Americans who visit the parks, on the Park Service budget and on the taxpayers who must pay millions to "study" jobs for privatization. Finding the necessary funding to study Park Service jobs for privatization will even reduce the availability of seasonal rangers who serve the American public every summer.
In times like these, when Americans are trying to reconnect with the history that our national parks preserve, we should not simply discard historians, archaeologists, museum curators, interpreters, maintenance workers, and architects and place their responsibilities in the hands of the lowest bidder. Decisions to outsource any position at a national park should be primarily the prerogative of the park superintendent and should be based only on the best interests of the parks themselves.
For the sake of our national treasures, the Park Service should be exempt from participation in the new privatization mandate. This is important to ensure the quality of visitors' experience, and to protect the parks themselves for future generations.

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