David Alpert was spot on in lambasting the “bureaucratic mentality at the National Park Service” [“The Grand Canyon or Logan Circle? It’s all the same to the Park Service,” Local Opinions, July 24].
The National Park Service has a government-backed monopoly on managing its parks. So it has little incentive to provide quality service or even eco-friendly amenities such as farmers markets or bike rentals. But to rectify “this prime example of government failure,” Mr. Alpert mistakenly called on the Obama administration and Congress to intervene. Why should we expect the government to solve a problem that the government created?
Instead of remaining a lumbering Leviathan, the Park Service should embrace market principles and privatize the parks. Environmental nonprofits such as the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club have far better records in conservation and fostering partnerships with local communities. Since these privately managed parks wouldn’t have the luxury of using other people’s money, they would need to accommodate consumer demand.
In addition, since these lands would be managed by environmentalists in the private sector, there would be little risk of regulatory capture by special interests, which was all too common in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.
Nick Sibilla, Portland, Ore.
The writer is a research associate at the Cascade Policy Institute.