Both raising fees and selling rights are bad ideas, born of desperation. The fees are already substantial enough to discourage people, and increasing those fees will only discourage more people further driving down revenue. Raising fees is a poor way to ration usage; better to have a first come, first in policy if your concern is overcrowding.
Selling naming rights is an even worse idea – it conveys the idea that nature is owned by the purchasers, and that the peasants, the public, may only enjoy nature on the sufferance of corporations or the wealthy. And what’s truly evil is the purchasers get a tax deduction for buying those rights and the public itself is paying to be advertised to. This is madness.
The 2015 state budget removed all state support from the parks and raised admission fees. Analysts say the move is projected to create an annual $1.4 million deficit in the parks account.
The Department of Natural Resources has released a number of recommendations for raising money, including expanding electrical service to hundreds of campsites for recreational vehicle users, creating rental lodging and selling naming rights to park facilities.
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