Trump Administration Plans to Privatize National Park Campgrounds

Plan Would Raise Camping Fees, Limit Discounts for Seniors

Contact: April Thomas, 206.321.3850,



Washington, D.C. -- Today, reporters uncovered a memo from the Trump administration’s Subcommittee on Recreation Enhancement Through Reorganization recommending that national park campgrounds, currently operated by the National Park Service, be privatized. The memo also indicates that a privatization process could lead to significant changes to existing campgrounds and services, including “market pricing of offered options,” offerings like food trucks and equipment rental, and proposes to limit senior discounts for camping.

In response, Joel Pannell, Associate Director of Sierra Club Outdoors for All, released the following statement:

“When Ryan Zinke proposed to raise fees for entering national parks, the national outcry from park visitors and low-income families was impossible to ignore, and the plan was shelved. Now the Trump administration is trying to pass a fee hike under the radar, and pave the way for full privatization of our national parks. 

“Turning our national parks into profit centers for a select few vendors would rob our public lands of just what makes them special. Hiking fees and limiting discounts for seniors will shut out working families and elders on fixed incomes. We will not allow the embattled Trump administration to turn our national parks into playgrounds for the wealthy and privileged, or permit companies that financially support the Trump campaign to profit from privatization of our public lands. Park lovers and outdoor advocates across the nation will rise up in resistance.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit