Opponents to State Park Amendment 2 claim privatization. Amendment 2 supporters disagree

Alabama State Parks
Alabama State Parks
DeSoto Falls at DeSoto State Park

Well, this is surprising.

Amendment 2, the proposed Constitutional Amendment to protect State Park funding, has experienced since its passage in April, 2016, virtually universal support from every corner of the state.

A couple of weeks a ago, editorial writer John Archibald, very briefly cast some doubt about the Amendment in an opinion piece about all the 14 Amendments.

Yesterday, former Conservation Commissioner Charley Grimsley,  lit Facebook and Twitter news feeds across the state on fire with an op-ed opposing Amendment 2 claiming that the ballot measure opens the door  – “to hand over our state parks, land, lodges and all, to private corporations.”

Proponents of Amendment 2 have struck back today with a joint op-ed by Alabama football great and businessman Bob Baumhower and State Parks Director Greg Lein.  Here is an excerpt and link to the piece:

“Some say the amendment will ‘privatize’ state parks, but that is not true and that word does not even appear in the language the people of Alabama will see on their ballot in November. If it were true, State Parks staff, outdoors organizations, chamber of commerce, tourism offices and the many other park partners (https://alparkspartners.com/park-partners/) would not be supporting Amendment 2.

Amendment 2 simply gives more parks the flexibility to partner with businesses to develop and/or maintain attractions at the parks as they have done for years.”

Along with Baumhower and Lein, Conservation Alabama has issued a response to the privatization issue.  Here is their response.

Bottomline –  It is very suspicious that no one noticed this so-called “privatization language”  until now two weeks before the vote.

How did we just “find it now”  7 months after the passage of the amendment in the Alabama legislature? Is it because there is no such language (privatization)?

Stay tuned….

 

 

 

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.