I-GOs

How One Foundation Got Kids Interested in Skiing - With Its Own Ski Park

How One Foundation Got Kids Interested in Skiing - With Its Own Ski Park
This article was originally published 1/26/17 in "Associations Now" by Ernie Smith. Click here for the original story.

In the three winters that the National Winter Activity Center has been active, the National Winter Sports Education Foundation’s “living lab” has helped drive a massive interest in the slopes among New York City-area kids. Here’s how.

Increased Revenues from Ski Areas Bypass National Forests

Increased Revenues from Ski Areas Bypass National Forests

Colorado ski areas are enjoying a record year, but the national forests where they operate aren’t sharing the rewards. Here’s a good example, recently documented by The Aspen Times. The 11 ski resorts on the White River National Forest paid $20 million in government fees in fiscal 2016 – about $4 million more than the hosting forest’s entire budget – but all that money went to the U.S. Treasury instead of the forest. So did winter permit fees from other ski areas in national forests – an estimated $35 million in 2016.

Rec Trails Program Celebrates 25 Years

Recreational Trails Program Celebrates 25 Years

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) – a landmark achievement of federal transportation legislation – is turning 25! And there is much to celebrate. The RTP has funded 22,000 trail projects all across the country, benefiting millions of diverse trail users – hikers and bikers, equestrians and snowmobilers, OHVers and paddlers, cross-country skiers, four-wheel drivers and more. States continue to add miles of trails as well as needed maintenance and improvements through grants to local project sponsors each year.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to Give Holiday Gift to State's Trail System

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to Give Holiday Gift to State's Trail System

Missouri’s award-winning trail system is about to get a major addition! On December 10, Governor Jay Nixon – 2015 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award winner – will cut the ribbon on a 47.5-mile trail connecting Kansas City with Missouri’s world-renowned Katy Trail, giving hikers and bikers an uninterrupted path of almost 300 miles across the state to the St. Louis area. The new section of trail will follow an old railroad corridor.

Fourth Graders Get Free Christmas Trees on National Forests

Fourth Graders Get Free Christmas Trees on National Forests

As your family gathers for Thanksgiving, use the time to make plans for a family experience to be ready for the next holiday celebration. Go cut your own Christmas tree! More than 150 national forests cover nearly 190 million acres of our nation. Under the Every Kid in a Park program, every fourth grader is entitled to a free Christmas tree permit, in addition to a free annual pass allowing entry into national parks and more! Fourth graders just need to show their Every Kid in a Park pass – available online at everykidinapark.gov – at a U.S. Forest Service office near you. If there isn’t a fourth grader in your family, it’s ok. A national forest tree cutting permit costs only five dollars! So make this year’s tree gathering a great family outing.

Key Senator Calls for New Commission on Americans Outdoors at Interior Confirmation Hearing

Key Senator Calls for New Commission on Americans Outdoors at Interior Confirmation Hearing

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) called for a new Commission on Americans Outdoors during Interior Secretary-designate Ryan Zinke’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee January 17. “Will you use this opportunity to look ahead another generation and ask the question ‘What outdoor recreation opportunities will our children and grandchildren have?’” asked Sen. Alexander. “I think you’re in a wonderful position to do a follow-up to the Commission on Americans Outdoors. This is the 30th anniversary of that report; a generation has passed and it’s time for the next look.”

Secretary-designate Zinke expressed interest and stressed the importance of attracting millennials to their great outdoors, saying, “We have to look at new ways of incentivizing younger millennials to experience the parks, to experience the outdoors, to teach them the value of our public lands…In many cases, I would argue it’s better than being in front of a TV, watching video games.”

Key Senator Praises RTP at DOT Confirmation Hearing

Key Senator Praises RTP at DOT Confirmation Hearing

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) was spotlighted January 11 at Transportation Secretary-designate Elaine Chao’s confirmation hearing. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) praised the program during her time for questioning, saying, “Ok, so, now we go to snowmobiles, you know, gotta end good here. The Recreational Trails Program is extremely important. It funds off-highway vehicle, snowmobile, non-motorized trail uses. It’s one of these issues where we’ve actually had the cross-country skiers and the bicyclists working with the motorized vehicles. It derives its funding from gas taxes paid by off-highway vehicle users when they fill up their machines and I hope that you will work with us going forward on that issue as well. It’s maybe not the first thing you thought of when you got up this morning, but that’s been a very positive program for recreational use.” Secretary-designate Chao responded by saying she looks forward to working on the issue.

Low Employee Engagement Found In Federal Land Management Agencies

Low Employee Engagement Found In Federal Land Management Agencies

Federal land and water management agencies lag behind many other government agencies – as well as the private sector – when it comes to employee satisfaction according to new “Best Places to Work” rankings. The National Park Service (NPS) in particular struggles with employee satisfaction, commitment and motivation, ranking 262nd out of 305 federal agencies despite the national celebration of its Centennial in 2016. NPS was the lowest-ranking of the principal federal agencies providing Americans with outdoor experiences.

Senate Unanimously Passes Outdoor REC Act

Senate Unanimously Passes Outdoor REC Act

In an early holiday gift to the outdoor recreation community, the U.S. Senate unanimously and without amendment passed the Outdoor REC Act! The bill was led by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) with a total of 15 cosponsors. The bill unanimously passed the House November 14, where it was sponsored by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and received bipartisan support, with 13 Republican and 12 Democrat cosponsors.

Voters in Alabama, Missouri Vote to Preserve Park Funding

Voters in Alabama, Missouri Vote to Support Park Funding

Voters went to the polls this week to decide a number of issues, and in Missouri and Alabama, voters overwhelmingly voted to protect and maintain park funding.