The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 7, 2014

State looks to add more options at 10 Ala parks

(Continued)

By inviting the public-private partnerships, Alabama is joining an increasing trend.

"It is both a long-standing tradition and a trend," Crandall said. "At the federal level, there are all kinds of things people can do at national parks."

For instance, he said 60 percent of all skiing in the United States takes place in national forests, and in 2011 Congress passed legislation that encourages non-winter activities, such as zip lines, in ski areas on U.S. Forest Service lands. Congress thought it would help increase employment in rural areas and increase revenue, Crandall said.

The private operators collect fees for the activities and a portion of those fees is paid back to the host — in the case of the ski slopes to the Forest Service, Crandall said.

In the case of the private operators in Alabama, the Alabama State Parks would receive the funding, Crandall said.

In Gulf Shores, individuals brought the idea of a partnership to the park system, but now the park system is soliciting partners, Lein said. The system is requesting qualifications from interested operators by Feb. 28 and in March, state officials will ask for proposals for what operators would do in the parks.

The operators would be responsible for the design, construction, maintenance, operation and insurance of whatever venture is agreed upon. According to Lein, the park system would be sharing its 4 million annual visitors and providing a beautiful setting. No public funding would be involved other than staff time to evaluate the proposals, he said.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee