Companies that operate visitor services in national parks are pushing the Trump administration to outsource more work to the private sector.

The Hill reported that the hospitality industry is betting that President Trump’s desire to cut the National Park Service’s (NPS) budget, combined with the GOP’s long-standing goal of moving federal functions to the private sector, presents an opportunity to make inroads in campgrounds, fee collection and other services at parks.

The administration appears receptive. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke brought up campgrounds at a recent event, saying he doesn’t think the NPS should be in the business of running them.

“As the secretary, I don’t want to be in the business of running campgrounds,” Zinke told members of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association at a recent event, according to E&E News. “My folks will never be as good as you are.”

Conservationists fear that increasing the role of concessioners is a slippery slope toward privatizing national parks. In addition, reducing federal staffing levels, or even reassigning a significant number of workers, is likely to face stiff pushback.

But the companies feel their arguments should resonate at a time of tightening federal dollars. Trump wants to cut roughly $375 million of the NPS’s $3 billion budget, and the agency is already facing a maintenance backlog of more than $11 billion.

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