Give Them an Inch – NPS and Corporate Logos
Image: by D L Ennis, a place on the Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn. Said one corporate executive to the other, ‘Oh, that looks like a good place to hang our McDonalds sign!’ ‘Yes, and then next year we can build the burger joint behind it!’
The old adage, “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile” could be exactly what we see take place in our National Parks if the Bush administration has its way!
The administration wants to put advertising in our National Parks, rather than increase the budget for the national park system to the level needed to fully fund maintenance repairs and operations.
The Christian Science Monitor has reported that the Bush administration proposes letting "corporate donors have more recognition for their financial contributions to national parks in the form of naming rights, signage and plaques bearing their logos."
The National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior say the expanded corporate recognition would be "modest."
How far will corporate advertisers go? And, how far will the federal government allow corporations go? This from The Christian Science Monitor, “In 2003, the Ajax Express, a ski lift on Colorado's Aspen Mountain in White River National Forest, introduced sign panels bolted to the safety bars of the lifts, according to published accounts. This season each panel included a trail map for skiers to review - plus an ad for cars, hotels or credit cards.”
According to the National Parks Conservation Association, which advocates for increased federal support for the National Park system, "On average, national parks operate with only two-thirds of the money needed to cover annual operating expenses. When projected to the entire park system, this chronic funding shortfall is more than $600 million annually. News reports from across the nation have chronicled the dwindling visitor services, crumbling buildings and threatened resources at some of our most beloved national parks including Everglades, Gettysburg, Great Smokies, Mesa Verde and Yosemite. These and other parks lack sufficient staff and financial resources to meet public demands and to accomplish the National Park Service's mission to protect America's natural and cultural legacy."
The Bush administrations, “Corporate Offices” are throwing trillions of dollars out into the world to support lost causes while America is crumbling to the ground. Every aspect of America’s infrastructure is outdated and decayed, and now our last natural resource of any consequence, is about to be handed over to the very corporate pirates the administration works for.
What do we do about it?
It has been suggested that, additional fee increases across the national park system would provide more funding for much-needed maintenance and repairs. However, there is a limit to how much those fees can rise before they start driving visitors away, especially park visitors that travel long distances while paying higher gasoline prices to get to the parks.
The organization, “Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway” will be implementing a plan for installing donation boxes at various locations along the Parkway, Susan J. Mills, executive director of Friends said, “We’re anticipating the boxes will start showing up at Peaks of Otter, the Folk Art Center, Mabry Mill, Craggy Gardens, right now, we’re in the design stage.”
Either way, the taxpayer, the average American citizen that is continually being jilted by our “corporate form of government,” is going to be flipping the bill again; it’s kind of like being taxed twice isn’t it?
This truly is a residual of a much larger problem in this country. The problem of Governmental Mismanagement and corporate Greed!
What ever happened to corporations giving back to the people who made them what they are, because it is the right thing to do and asking nothing else in return? I guess that’s not enough any more after all “giving” doesn’t pad their greedy pockets!
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