A petition drive was launched this week to restore an Army Corps of Engineers program that allowed nonprofit groups to manage campgrounds at Thurmond Lake and other sites.
“Within the first 24 hours alone we have received approximately 2,000 signed letters of support,” said Clay Turner, whose company, Lake Thurmond Campgrounds, was awarded a five-year contract last March to manage the Petersburg, Ridge Road, Modoc, Raysville and Winfield campgrounds.
The cooperative agreement was hailed as a cost-savings measure but was terminated this month after a legal review at corps’ headquarters concluded the programs were illegal because they allowed nonprofits to keep and reinvest revenue back into the parks that generated them.
According to the petitions, which are being circulated online and through social media, proponents hope an amendment to authorize such agreements can be attached to the Water Resources and Reform Development Act.
The five affected parks at Thurmond Lake are among 34 nationwide, the petition said.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., who has received some of the petitions, is among the legislators who have been approached about the cooperative agreements.
“As of now, we’re looking into the matter and are planning on discussing this issue with the corps,” said Christine Hardman, Broun’s press secretary.