You are here

Legislation Introduced To Let States Manage National Parks, Other Public Lands


In a move not entirely surprising, U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska has proposed legislation to create a mechanism for states to take over management of national parks and other federal lands.

It's not surprising in that a number of states -- Utah, Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota, New York, and Tennessee -- stepped up last week to underwrite the costs of reopening parks in their states during the government shutdown.

As written, the legislation would require a state to put up at least 50 percent of the costs of running the national park in question to have its petition considered by the Interior secretary. If a state provided 55 percent of the costs of operation, it would receive 55 percent of the revenues that park generated. States would not be given title to the land.

States that gain such authority could relinquish it by writing the Interior secretary and asking to be relieved of its authority. The secretary also could void the agreement if the state defaults on payments or is found to have breached its agreement.

Introduced this past Tuesday, the bill has no cosponsors.



It was very nice that the states stepped up to reopen the national parks during the shutdown but that is not a permanent solution. These are National Parks for a reason. They belong to everyone. The states do not have the money or the vision to operate national parks into the future.

In Western North Carolina, we're very aware that the large national parks are on either end of the state and the population lives in the Piedmont, in the middle. That's why we have state parks sprinkled all over the state. I can see our state legislators saying that it takes four hours to five hours to drive from Raleigh to the Smokies. So why should he/she fund the parks?

Our state parks have been threatened with shutdowns too.

Let's get proper funding for the national parks on a federal level.

Semi-related opinion piece, with often interesting comments.

Five Myths about National Parks

Young is our village idiot, who has somehow become congressman-for-life.

You mean like (Senator) Bernie Sanders or (Congressperson) Sheilah Jackson Lee?

Well said, Danny.

Not unexpected from someone who represents special interests and would love to see our national parks open to rape and pillage by timber, oil, ATV manufacturers, and other groups that want to line their corporate pockets at the expense of natural wonders. There are some very good reasons states do NOT have control over national parks, and people like Young represent most of them.

@MikeG and justinh: At least they're not trying to turn over our national treasures to the highest bidder. The main reason Young and his ilk want state control over national parks is so that Republican-controlled states can eviscerate the federal rules that protect the parks for everyone, not special interests.

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress...but I repeat myself" Mark Twain.

my point was that there are a lot of very low performing people in Congress from every party, even "independents"... it's not something that is particularly related to party.... I really get bored with those who think that they know every motivation for someone, especially if they disagree with them...

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide