Thu Nov 14, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
While attention was focused elsewhere in the news, the National Park Service (NPS) Deputy Director David Vela discreetly disbanded the advisory committee on recreation on public lands established by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday, Nov. 1.
Vela says the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee (ORAC), created in 2017, “was simply an advisory body to the Department of the Interior and the Secretary of the Interior."
Vela says the committee had recommended national park improvements including Wi-Fi, a mobile camp store, food trucks and other campground upgrades. No action will be taken “unless and until the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service determine the recommendations will improve the visitor experience, protect national park resources and are determined to be prudent investments," he says.
He went on to say that the NPS is working to coordinate a campground rehabilitation and modernization strategy. While the agency does not intend to modernize every national park service campground, it is striving to make smart decisions by reviewing parks individually for “unique circumstances, local market and financial factors and applicable policies and regulations.” Public input will be sought at the appropriate time in the future.
There are 1,421 campgrounds in the National Park System. Of these, 1,340 are managed by NPS and 81 are managed via concessions contracts.