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Push to Ban Private Workers From National Forests

Posted by nationalforestlawblog at 10:38 AM on April 14, 2010

In what seems to be increasing in volume these days is a push by a very small number of people to force out private concessionaires from the National Forests.  There are numerous articles, including one from Fly Rod and Reel here, that are calling for a return to only government employees in the forests.  The main complaint is that the private concessionaires would not honor the full senior citizen discount previously offered by the Forest Service.  The private operators have suggested that with the growing number of baby boom retirees they cannot profitably operate with the discounts.  So, based pretty much on that issue folks are calling for a return to government run campgrounds in the forests.  Will government run campgrounds operate any better than the private ones?  The answer is no.  While the government will honor the discount, the losses associated with operating campgrounds will only be transferred to the taxpayer.  Essentially the taxpayer will be subsidizing the camping experience of senior citizens.  The articles also claim that the vast majority of public comments are opposing to private concessionaires.  Of course only 4,000 comments came in on the issues a tiny fraction of a fraction of the public and likely only the people who want their big discount.  In my opinion campgrounds are not an essential governmental service and with the way our government has literrally been swallowing up the private sector, we don't need more government expansion.  The only result will be a larger burden on the taxpayor who is already strapped.

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