National Park Naming Rights

There is an op-ed article in the Seattle P-I today about Director's Order #21: Donations and Fundraising. There is great concern and confusion about what kind of "return on investment" will be granted to those who give a ton of money. Order #21 states that park landmarks are off limits. There will, presumably, never be a Vera Wang Bridal Veil Falls at Yosemite. But, what if the Park Service wanted to make improvements to the parking lot near the falls, or the restroom, or the trail that you take to view the falls? Where does that money come from? As a citizen and tax payer of the United States, I would hope that the money for those improvements would come from where it's always come from, the Feds! Even our president said as much:
"The federal government has clear responsibility for the Everglades, as in each of the nearly 400 other national parks. In recent years, that obligation has sometimes been neglected. Many parks have lacked the resources they need for their basic care and maintenance. My administration will restore and renew America's national parks."

President George W. Bush
Everglades National Park
June 4, 2001
It's estimated that the park service deferred maintenance back log is now between $4.1 billion to $6.8 billion. Obviously, for the parks, money is a big problem right now. One solution is to reach out to private dollars and partnerships. Is it the best solution? Maybe not, but there is at least one good working example of this already in Yosemite National Park. Working along side the Park Service, are a number of private, profit and non-profit, enterprises providing guest services, education, book stores, and more.

I'm not saying that this whole subject is one that should be treated lightly. As others have said, this could be the beginning of a process that takes us down a slippery slope towards rampant commercialism in the last place we want to see it. These national treasures are our heritage, they do not belong to Wall Street.