According to National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, the notion of transferring federally managed public lands to the state level is extremely ill-advised. Citing the fact that not only is the National Park Service currently experiencing a $12 billion maintenance backlog, the state park systems are experiencing even tighter cash restraints.
“I have a lot of friends in the National Association of State Park Directors … and many of them are struggling significantly financially,” he said in a speech to the National Press Club on Monday. “They have lost a lot of state legislative appropriations as well. I would say the public land estate is being well managed and would continue to be best managed by the federal government.”
The federal government owns large parcels of lands in many western states, offering tourists and locals unique opportunities for not only hunting and fishing, but also for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities. In the state of Alaska, for example, the federal government owns more than 60 percent of the state’s land. Many other states such as Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and others are under comparable federal ownership percentages.
Concerns are rising with the looming presidential election after the Republican party added a clause into its platform calling for the transfer of all federally managed public lands to be transferred to the state level. While the party or platform has not commented much on the clause itself since its introduction, it has a large portion of the population growing concerned about the future of public lands in America.
In an effort to keep up with scheduled maintenance schedules, The National Park Service continues to concentrate their efforts on establishing partnerships with charities and other organizations for funding.
H/T: Washington Examiner