Proposal seeks to privatize, modernize campgrounds at national parks

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Food trucks. Wi-Fi. Hot showers.

Those campground upgrades could be coming to a national park near you.

The Interior Department is considering recommendations to modernize campgrounds within the National Park Service.

The recommendations posted this week come from an advisory committee created under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It has been looking at ways for private businesses to operate on public lands.

Derrick Crandall is the vice chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee. He says many campgrounds fail to meet visitors’ expectations and allowing the private sector to run them would free up money for maintenance elsewhere in the parks.

National parks have more than 1,400 campgrounds combined. About 6% are operated by concessionaires.

Environmentalists say the proposal would price out some visitors and benefit special interest groups.

7 tips: Here’s how to visit all 61 national parks in America

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