Trump’s National Park Changes Could, Ironically, Help Jeff Bezos

November 4, 2019, 6:01 PM UTC

Donald Trump has made it clear on Twitter that he’s no fan of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, but his administration is considering changes to the National Park Service that could financially benefit the world’s richest man.

Among the ideas reportedly under consideration as the administration considers privatizing national park campgrounds is one that will allow Amazon deliveries at camp sites within the parks (for an extra fee). Other suggestions include bringing food trucks to popular parks and eliminating senior discounts during peak holiday seasons.

These ideas come from the Interior Department’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee—a group that includes the CEO of Bass Pro Shops and the president of Aramark, which holds a $2 billion contract to run hotels, campgrounds, and food service at Yosemite. And they are, for now, just recommendations. Conservation organizations and senior citizen advocacy groups are vehemently opposing the proposed changes.

Senior groups are especially up in arms, after the cost of a lifetime senior pass jumped from $10 to $80 two years ago. People 62 or older who hold the pass get free access to national parks and federal recreation sites, as well as discounts at various shops in those areas, which include the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia and Zion. Roughly 1 million seniors per year buy the passes.

Trump has steadily cut National Park Service funding since taking office. By 2020, he’ll have eliminated $481 million from the government division, according to the Los Angeles Times. He has also reduced the size of two national monuments—Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante—and diverted Park Service funds to help pay for his extravagant Fourth of July showcase earlier this year.

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