P3s might be answer to federal parks’ budget woes

Like a lot of U.S. infrastructure, America’s national parks are falling behind on maintenance and improvement – to the tune of an $11.3 billion backlog. Yet, President Trump has proposed cutting $322 million from the National Park Service’s $3 billion budget – at a time when park users are seeking more amenities like wi-fi service.

Enter public-private partnerships. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke plans to expand use of P3s. “I don’t want to be in the business of running campgrounds,” he told the RV Industry Association in June.

He envisions a scenario in which the park service would own the land and set guidelines and benchmarks, but private companies would operate, manage and improve campgrounds.

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