Congress Focuses on People in Parks

Congress Focuses on People In Parks

Park concessioners made their voices heard on a number of extremely important issues before Congress.  The U.S. House of Representatives held two hearings directly focusing on concessioners and national parks Thursday, July 23.  Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) – chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Interior – opened her hearing by lauding NPS for leading the way on public/private partnerships to serve the nation, with private dollars building much of the NPS visitor infrastructure beginning in the late 1800s.  She noted that those public/private partnerships are now emerging as key elements in the nation’s surface transportation and water policies, and more.  Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) – chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands – opened his hearing with a reference to plans to update FLREA (Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act) this fall, and including expanding the bill beyond fee authority to key other tools like the Centennial Challenge and NAFI authority.

To read excerpts from prepared and written testimony, click here.

The Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Interior held an oversight hearing on “Modernizing the National Park Service Concession Program” at 9:00am in 2154 Rayburn HOB.  

Witnesses included:

  • Terry MacRae, Hornblower Cruises; Chairman, NPHA (read his testimony here)
  • Alex Klein, Vice President and General Manager, Grand Teton Lodge Company and Flagg Ranch Company (read his testimony here)
  • Chris Belland, CEO, Historic Tours of America (read his testimony here)
  • Vicki Varela, Managing Director, Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding
  • NPS CFO Lena McDowell

The hearing was livestreamed, and can be watched here:

Submit your comments to the OGR Subcommittee on Interior here.

The Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held an oversight hearing on “New and Innovative Ideas for the Next Century of Our National Parks.”  The hearing will be held at 10:00am in 1324 Longworth HOB.  

Witnesses included:

  • John Nau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., on behalf of National Park Foundation
  • Derrick Crandall, National Park Hospitality Association (read his testimony here)
  • Jim Fram, President of the Hot Springs Arkansas Chamber of Commerce
  • Craig Obey, Senior Vice President, National Park Conservation Association 

The hearing was livestreamed and can be seen here.

Submit your comments to the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands here.

Supplemental testimony:


National Park Hospitality Association


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