The really intriguing point of the article is the idea that the National Park Service is developing the parks into tourist attractions, rather than preserving them as community resources. We are all aware that our politicians on both sides of the aisle have an unprecedented zeal for privatizing government functions. The development for tourism is a desperate play to keep the system alive when "community resources" are seen as a monstrous evil. In fact, however, it will come to serve the purpose of those who would dismantle the government and sell it to the highest bidder. It is, intentionally or unintentionally, grooming the national parks to make them more attractive to developers and command a higher price.
I account myself fortunate to live in New York State, which has a park system that compares with the national parks in extent (the Adironack Park would encompass any four of the national parks within its borders). The great Catskill and Adirondack Parks are enshrined as "forever wild" in the state constitution. So far, that provision has resisted amendment. It perversely arose as part of a tax bailout for counties that labored under an unpayable property tax debt to the state, in the midst of the long depression that began with the Panic of 1873. For some counties that were nearly wholly dependent on forestry - and bankrupt paper and tanning companies - for their income, the State rebate of tax on the Forest Preserve lands is virtually all the county revenue.
The existence of the Forest Preserve means that that when I choose, I can put on my backpack and hike, with no further formalities. I say this almost literally: there are places big enough to get lost in less than an hour's drive away. I need to seek nobody's permission, do no paperwork, pay no fees. If I had a dog, I could bring the creature. (I'd like to at some point. At this point in my life, I haven't the time to train a trail dog properly, and it would be irresponsible to try.)
I do not want to live in a society where everyone does not enjoy the right to recreate on public land. Selling these resources to be carved up by developers would destroy them. Demanding that government be "run like a business" on a fee-for-service model has the same effect. Not least, once tickets are sold, private or public, the emphasis shifts to providing a packaged experience. Visitors are constrained, for their own safety, to the experience prescribed, to "stay on the ride" in a Disney copy of the real thing. As it is, I face no such Disneyfication: I am free to go check out the view from a rock that I've spotted in binoculars, or watch the beavers in a pond that I stumbled upon while exploring a stream. Trails are suggestions.
And yet I see the handwriting on the wall. The existence of any public resource, open to the public, is income forgone. The clamor arises to dismantle all public resources systematically, to save money for the taxpayers. The exclusion of dogs without public comment and contrary to stated policy is merely the nose of the camel poking into that particular tent.