Its Official: US Forest Service Closing over 1000 Privately-Funded Parks

Coyote Blog

The US Forest Service, under pressure apparently from the White House, has reversed both its historical precedent as well as its position yesterday and will close over 1000 public parks and campgrounds that are operated by private companies without using one dime of public money.  Why does the fact that our landlord the US Forest Service is going on an unpaid vacation mean that tenants of theirs have to close up shop too?  We have no idea.  

This is how I explained it in my letter to my senators:

My company, based in North Phoenix, operates over 100 US Forest Service campgrounds and day use areas under concession contract. Yesterday, as in all past government shutdowns, the Department of Agriculture and US Forest Service confirmed we would stay open during the government shutdown. This makes total sense, since our operations are self-sufficient (we are fully funded by user fees at the gate), we get no federal funds, we employ no government workers on these sites, and we actually pay rent into the Treasury.

However, today, we have been told by senior member of the US Forest Service and Department of Agriculture that people “above the department”, which I presume means the White House, plan to order the Forest Service to needlessly and illegally close all private operations. I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy.

The point of the shutdown is to close non-essential operations that require Federal money and manpower to stay open. So why is the White House closing private operations that require no government money to keep open and actually pay a percentage of their gate revenues back to the Treasury? We are a tenant of the US Forest Service, and a tenant does not have to close his business just because his landlord goes on a vacation.

4 thoughts on “Its Official: US Forest Service Closing over 1000 Privately-Funded Parks

  1. Interstate commerce is being violated here plain and simple.
    People travel from great distances via RV’s and other types of mobile camping to the states in question. When are they going to come to your place of either business(as an owner) or job(employee) and say that you are closed for the day? What if you work from home?

    We should expect no less from an out of control child government throwing a tantrum.
    Time to whoop this child so it get back on the right track.
    So time to pick your switch and it better not be some tiny twig or we are going to have to pick one for you and your really not going to like OUR choice.

  2. Pisqah Inn in western NC on the Blue Ridge Pkway refuses to close.
    Owner is awaiting to see what will be done. All public lands are
    paid for by the American taxpayer. I hope the cooks and maids, etc.
    at our White House have been laid off. They are non-essential.

  3. The petulance (and gall) of this so-called ‘government’ is appalling.

    Not for much longer, I’m bettin’.

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