I-GOs

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.

Georgia, RBFF Successful in Retaining First-Time License Buyers

Georgia, RBFF Successful in Retaining First-Time License Buyers
Source: RBFF Newswaves

While millions of individuals take up fishing each year (6.2 million in 2015), roughly just as many leave the sport for various reasons. To combat this trend and retain first-time fishing license purchasers, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Georgia Wildlife Resources Division partnered on a New Angler Retention Pilot Program. Through the year-long program, the organizations were able to measure the impact of email communication on a new angler's purchase of a license the following year.

Changes to NPS Fees and Operations Can Provide New, and Sustainable Funding

Changes to NPS Fees and Operations Can Provide New, and Sustainable Funding

The National Park Service (NPS) has an extraordinary opportunity to make changes to how maintenance and visitor services are funded by adopting contemporary financial strategies that would ensure national parks remain relevant, accessible and sustainable long into the future. January 2017 will bring a new Administration and Congress changes – offering a perfect time to consider recommendations from three long-time park advocates and partners.

RBFF and U.S. Forest System Enter Historic Cooperative Agreement

Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and U.S. Forest Service Enter Historic Cooperative Agreement
By Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) announced Tuesday it has entered into a new cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. Through the agreement, the Forest Service will help provide funding for the Take Me Fishing campaign while RBFF will promote the available fishing opportunities on or near U.S. Forest Service lands.

Urban Every Kid in a Park Event Draws Virginia Governor & Member of Congress

Urban Every Kid in a Park Event Draws Virginia Governor & Member of Congress

Alexandria, VA– The Trust for the George Washington Memorial Parkway (Trust), will engage the next generation in an Every Kid in the Park event on Friday, September 23rd from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. 75 Lyles Crouch Elementary School 4th grade students will come to Jones Point Park to participate in a morning of fishing, boating, and conservation activities to connect them to their local parks and the Potomac River. The Trust’s STEM on the Potomac educational program will also bring TC Williams High School STEM Academy 11th grade students will join as mentors for the 4th grade students.