Ah, the great outdoors. Waterfall white noise soothing you to sleep, chirping robins rousing you from an otherwise uninterrupted slumber, and an Amazon employee screaming your name from a distance, lost while in the process of delivering your Kashi Go Lean. Well, that might be the future, at least.
The Interior Department’s Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee is suggesting that national parks -- in order to increase revenue -- should allow Amazon to deliver to your campsite. The committee thinks “offering the private sector a bigger role” is the key to making more money, according to USA Today. They issued a statement on the matter, which discussed a model of “high-quality contemporary campgrounds."
What does that mean exactly? Under their "recommendations" bullet points, the memo lists "new openness to innovative management and services in campgrounds ranging from mobile food service (including food trucks) to mobile camp stores, specialized zones in campgrounds to maximize visitor satisfaction, innovative overnight operations (tent and small cabin rentals, for example)." Sounds a bit like a woodsy music festival without the electronic music and MDMA.
Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, wrote in a memo in October that "overall capacity has not kept up with growth and changes in camping demands and the infrastructure that does exist." Basically, he thinks there needs to be more WiFi, and then that whole private sector infiltration thing.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the proposal has been aggressively opposed by conservation organizations and senior citizen advocates. And it's pretty easy to understand why environmental enthusiasts are upset. The committee wants to limit discounts for seniors by implementing "blackout period" and they referred to our beloved and already-struggling Mother Earth as an “underperforming asset."