PERC, a Montana organization working to improve environmental quality through property rights and markets, recently posted an article on state parks. Leonard Gilroy writes that states should consider letting the private sector manage state parks. He points to several parks that have been leased to private recreation management companies. Gilroy argues:
Policy makers should ask, is there anything inherently governmental about collecting gate and camping fees, selling firewood to campers, and cleaning restrooms in state parks? If the answer is “no,” then states should explore the opportunity to let private operators perform these functions—taking parks off the state books while paying the state for the privilege to do so.
This alternative, Gilroy points out, maintains state parks at no cost to the state or taxpayers. In some cases, it could even provide state revenue.