Need Money: Why Not Sell Some National Parks?
Selling parts of the National Parks off to cover our national debt was an idea brought up by Florida's U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns. Stearns spoke up about his feelings of selling off the parks when a meeting was held in regards to creating a new trail that would honor the Buffalo Soldiers, a contingent of black U.S. Army cavalrymen. The Buffalo Soldiers rode from San Francisco to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They took care of the area and built the trails that would one day become Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks.
The trail was going to be 200 miles, and Stearns saw it as a waste of funds. He asked the crowd if they were going to walk those 200 miles. Stearns then went on to say, "And I told the man that we don't need more national parks in this country, we need to actually sell off some of our national parks, and try and do what a normal family would do is — they wouldn't ask Uncle Joe for a loan, they would sell their Cadillac, or they would take their kids out of private schools and put them into public schools to save money instead of asking for their credit card to increase their debt ceiling.”
The National Parks is actually a stable federal entity. National Parks continue to grow with visitors, and brought in $31 billion and employed 258,000 people in 2010. The National Park Service has a $3 billion budget for its 80.5 million acres. There is however a backlog of maintenance with a price tag of $9.5 billion. Stearns commented that obviously there are areas that are being underused, and there is simply too much for the park service to manage, so selling off some of the underused areas would save money. From Ocala.com.