John Freemuth recently was quoted in an article in The Hill titled “Companies push Trump to outsource work in national parks.”
While Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke seems willing to hand concessionary control of national parks to private agencies, arguing that it would help cut down the parks budget, others warn that this is the first step towards privatizing public parks, and having employees of private companies interact with park-goers would hurt the park experience:
“This is the face of our public land agencies and the people on the front lines,” said Freemuth, who studies public lands issues and once worked as a park ranger. “We’re decoupling what people’s experiences are with their public land managers when we start contracting all this out.”
Read the entire article here: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/340181-hospitality-industry-pushes-trump-for-bigger-role-in-national-parks
Freemuth also was quoted in a Boise State Public Radio article titled “Idaho Congressman Reintroduces Bill To End Forest Service Policy Of ‘Fire Borrowing,’” which details Congressman Mike Simpson’s plan to pay for wildfires in a new, more sustainable way. Currently, with the cost of wildfires ballooning each year, the Forest Service is forced to raid other parts of its budget to cover firefighting costs – a tactic called “fire borrowing.” Freemuth and others note that the practice is unsustainable in the long run.