Thursday, January 04, 2007

Private Options for Parks

The State of Washington is exploring private sponsorship for state parks. They are exploring for now, so we don't know what the results will be. Jason Mercie of Evergreen Freedom Foundation writes at Heartland Institute:
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is considering a draft proposal that would permit limited private "sponsorship" of state parks. The commission is currently gathering comments from stakeholders and hopes to have a finalized proposal available for consideration early next year. According to the draft, "A sponsorship is a commercial relationship in which the Commission and the external entity exchange goods, services, or funds for public recognition or other consideration. 'Sponsorship' includes the right of an external entity to associate its name, products, or services with the Commission's name, programs, services, or facilities." Agency Seeks Sponsors The Seattle Times noted in a September 15 article, "The agency already has begun advertising for potential sponsors. 'Join the fun when Seattle's active urbanites go play in the great outdoors!' reads an ad the parks agency recently ran in a trade magazine for the sponsorship industry."
But no Marlboro park." They strictly limit undesirable sponsors, including any for-profit company. No, not yet.
"It is encouraging to see the commission exploring ways to partner with the private sector," said Amber Gunn, policy analyst for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's Economic Policy Center. "Hopefully other areas of government will learn from this example and consider additional competitive contracting and private sponsorship opportunities."
I agree.

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