By Andrew J. Pridgen

“Camping? I remember camping. We used to load up the old Wagoneer with some JetBoil and a couple sleeping bags that smelled like moldy urine and gross feet, drive somewhere, pay the friendly Park Ranger and go enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Unplug. Become a family again. Listen to one another. Sleep like no sleep before. Yeah, I remember camping.”

^ This is basically every dinner conversation ever when grandma/grandpa you is going to be asked by your grandchildren what did happen to America’s Great Outdoors they recently read about in some of the underground non-government/corporate-sponsored literature they got a hold of.

Tuesday, Interior Ryan Zinke announced his intention to privatize large parts of the National Park Service. He told the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association: “As the secretary, I don’t want to be in the business of running campgrounds. My folks will never be as good as you are. We are going to have more public-private partnerships soon. I think that’s where the industry should be going.”

Fuck. That. Shit.

This comes on the heels of Zinke’s proposal to shrink Bears Ears National Monument and a refusal to propose a budget that will adequately fund our existing National Parks and Monuments.

Self-fulfilling prophecy and all that.

Basically, he’s forcing our protected lands into the willing and waiting hands of private corporations.

Once open to privatization, the lands will be good to rape and pillage for development, drilling and mining—not to mention constant degradation at the hands of our corporate overlords.

Zinke, a former Montana Rep., is responsible for more than 400 million acres of public land, mostly in the West. His multiple-use model for federal land management allows for harvesting timber, mining for coal and drilling for oil and natural gas along with, you know, some hiking and fishing.

“Not only has Zinke forgotten where he comes from, he’s making it clear to people across the West that he could care less about their access to public land,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project.

Look up and contact your rep here.

Andrew J. Pridgen helps run sister site Death of the Press Box and is the author of the novella “Burgundy Upholstery Sky”. His first full-length novel will be released in late-2017.