Improving the Visitor Experience at National Parks

Hearing Date: April 5, 2017 2:00 pm 2247 Rayburn HOB

  • To examine how visitor services programs operate differently across the country.
  • To discuss whether the National Park Service (NPS) should implement some of the reforms that are driving an increase in visitation at other state and federal facilities.
  • Private companies, known as concessioners, manage many visitor services at national parks, such as campgrounds, lodging, and food service.
  • The NPS concessions program is burdensome for companies to work under and limits the ability of parks and companies to provide new services.
  • In comparison, the U.S. Forest Service operates under a concessions program that provides latitude to enhance visitor experience. Additionally, state park services are proving to be a testing ground for new ideas and improvements.
  • The Committee previously examined this issue at a hearing in July 2015.


Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Mr. Glenn Casamassa Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System, U.S. Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture Document
Ms. Linda Lanterman Director of the Division of State Parks State of Kansas Document
Mr. Chris Edmonston President BoatU.S. Foundation Document
Mr. Rick Cables Vice President of Natural Resources and Conservation Vail Resorts Document

Related Documents

Name Document
Chairman Farenthold Opening Statement Document