To be sure, the Rio Grande Foundation has NOT proposed this although we are working to return other lands to state control, but with the federal government having shut down today, I think it would be great if the states and not the federal government managed the National Parks. After all, when it comes to average Americans actually being impacted by the shutdown, the one thing that is constantly discussed is the economic problem (and the personal pain) of the National Parks being shut down.
And, while EVERYONE hates having the Parks shuttered, the reality is that their management is a rounding area when it comes to the overall federal budget (1/13th of 1 percent).
The situation reminds me of Obama’s essentially holding air traffic control “hostage” earlier this year as a means of ending the sequester. It also brings to mind the way the private sector businesses near Yellowstone stepped up to plow the roads when Washington decided it couldn’t.
So, perhaps the states would do a better job of managing the parks too? At least they’d have a really strong incentive in the form of tax dollars to keep those parks open regardless of what is happening in DC. Unfortunately, given the political difficulties facing efforts to devolve other federal lands to the states, I don’t see the pros and cons of this even being discussed anytime soon.