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Gateway NRA Officials Seem to Run Counter to Other Park Managers


How unusual is the decision by Gateway National Recreation Area officials to constantly give a developer more time to come up with the financing to restore and commercialize buildings at Fort Hancock?

Apparently pretty unusual according to a survey by the Asbury Park Press.

The newspaper contacted park officials at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas and at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California about how they handled similar matters, and in both cases officials said they required financial documentation before they allowed the projects to move forward.

At Gateway, Superintendent Richard Wells couldn't explain the different way things were handled.

"Our expertise is in protecting public lands," he told the newspaper. "We're not in real estate."

You can read the entire story here.


Don't you love the quote by the park superintendent? If they are not in real estate then what are they doing leasing out 36 buildings to a developer, especially one who hasn't even shown that he has the financial backing to do the work??? What's even more appalling is that even though the develper doesn't have the financial backing the park is giving him the go ahead to start working on 3 buildings within Ft. Hancock, Gateway NRA.

This situation smells to high heaven. I have been following the story for several years, and at no time has the Superintendent even tried to offer an explanation for the long string of "extensions". That, in itself, should bring about a detailed investigation into the matter

My experience is that many superintendents do not have expertise at protecting public lands or in real estate. Unfortunately, for many, skills are limited to protecting their career.

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