Roles for the Private Sector in State Parks Systems

A Policy Brief for the State of New Hampshire
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 0506-07
Thursday, September 21, 2006

A current trend in the state parks systems of the United States is "privatization" of certain functions and services. Privatization, as defined by author and Director Emeritus of Florida State Parks, Ney C. Landrum, is the "transfer of responsibility for selected state park functions or activities from the state parks agency to a private party or entity by contract, lease, or other formal agreement." Such practices have been employed by state park operations since 1866, but there has been a clear increase in their use during the past two decades.

This policy brief includes:

  1. a description of privatization in the context of Landrum's definition
  2. a discussion of guidelines for determining the appropriateness of a privatization effort
  3. descriptions of private sector involvement in retail and custodial services provided by government agencies
  4. a presentation of case studies that illustrate private sector involvement in other park systems