A Nice Parks Study in Utah

I have been disappointed with quality of analysis in some of the recent consulting studies that have come out in Arizona on parks and privatization.  In particular, one study early this year interviewed something like 60 employees of various state and local government agencies on privatization — but not a single one of these 60 or their agencies had any experience with concession management of whole parks.  It still puzzles me why the US Forest Service, which is right here in the state and has concession operation of whole parks in over 40 parks in Arizona, has apparently been ignored by every Arizona study on the topic.

Anyway, that is all water under the bridge.  I recently saw a study by a group in the Utah legislature on parks and how to make their state parks more financially sustainable.  While I quibble with some of it and would have done some things differently, it is one of the best public studies I have seen to date on this topic.  It actually gets at the elephant in the room that most studies ignore (ie park employee compensation rates) and even addresses some more subtle issues that are often missed (eg. proliferation of law enforcement titles due to individual incentives to seek such titles rather than demand for law enforcement).  I have linked the study below, which is a fairly large pdf.

Utah state parks audit