American Recreation Coalition

ARC Supports Reauthorization of NPS Advisory Board

(Washington, DC) - The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks recently conducted an oversight hearing on the operations of the National Park System Advisory Board, first created in 1935. Witnesses at the June hearing were NPS Director Fran Mainella, Advisory Board Chairman Douglas Wheeler and Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition. To read more about this issue and ARC's testimony, click here.

Long-time Kempthorne Aide Gary L. Smith Addresses July Recreation Exchange

Gary L. Smith, newly-appointed Director of External and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of the Interior, brought a strong message of cooperation and consultation with recreation interests to July’s Recreation Exchange. Mr. Smith, who has worked with Secretary Kempthorne at the local, state and national levels for 19 years, emphasized the Secretary’s deep interest and commitment to recreation on public lands - values shared by his staff. He characterized the Secretary’s style as deliberative, bringing sometimes-disparate groups together for inclusive, collaborative problem-solving - a style which has succeeded in the past to resolve environmental conflict.

Recreation Leaders Celebrate Interstate's 50th Anniversary

Recreation industry leaders played a prominent role when hundreds of transportation officials and industry leaders gathered in Washington to celebrate the 50th anniversary of America’s Interstate highway system this week. The observance culminated June 28 and 29 in Washington D.C. with a forum and celebration of the arrival of a cross-country convoy that made its way from California along the nation’s 46,000-mile Interstate system.

To read more about this historic event, click here.

Outdoor Industry Foundation Publishes "2006 Outdoor Recreation Participation Study"

The Outdoor Industry Foundation has recently published its “2006 Outdoor Recreation Participation Study” on the web. This 8th annual study found that while participation increased across the 22 outdoor activities it surveys from 159 million Americans age 16 and older in 2004 to 161.6 million in 2005, outings decreased by 11%. In 2005, Americans 16 and older took a total of 7.3 billion outings compared to 8.3 billion outings in 2004. A few of the findings include:

Bicycling and fishing accounted for the bulk of the decline in outings, with an approximate 800,000 and 300,000 outing decrease respectively. Despite that, both these sports ranked among the top five for most outings in 2005: bicycling (3.1 billion), trail running (1.3 billion), fishing (1 billion), hiking (800 million), and camping (347 million).

Great Outdoors Week 2006 Report

Washington, D.C. - Great Outdoors Week 2006 (June 12-17) brought together hundreds of outdoor recreation leaders for meetings, discussions and celebrations of significant achievements. This year’s theme -- Meeting the Needs of Americans Today and Tomorrow – brought focus to volunteerism, public-private partnerships, improving health through recreation, recreational trails and scenic byways programs, the unveiling of the internet-based Toolbox for the Great Outdoors, Second Edition and public lands access challenges. Two dozen important national awards were a key highlight of the week’s events.

NASCAR's Ward Burton Comments on Great Outdoors Month

Ward Burton, 2002 Daytona 500 and five-time NASCAR/Nextel Cup winner, is a strong supporter of Great Outdoors Month and encourages families and community groups to become active in the outdoors. To read his comments, click here.

Toolbox for the Great Outdoors - Second Edition Goes Online

Washington, D.C. (June 12, 2006) – The Toolbox for the Great Outdoors Second Edition is now available online at www.tools4outdoors.us. The website helps public land managers and partners, including nonprofit organizations, harness dozens of funding sources and other programs which can be used to connect 21st century Americans to public lands and to enhance visitor experiences. First developed in a CD-format in 2003, the Toolbox Second Edition explains the use of 50 “tools” in 7 “drawers” or categories and showcases dozens of examples of the successful use of these tools at recreation sites.

Coalition for Recreational Trails 2006 Annual Achievement Awards Winners Announced

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nine trail projects have been chosen by the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) as recipients of its seventh Annual Achievement Awards in recognition of their outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. These national awards will be presented at a special Capitol Hill ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 14, 2006 as part of the celebration of Great Outdoors Week 2006.

To read more, click here.

To view details of each project, click here.

Great Outdoors Week Schedule of Events

Great Outdoors Week 2006 begins in Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 12 and continues through Saturday, June 17. It is filled with exciting and informative events you will not want to miss.

To see a complete schedule, click here.

For the schedule in matrix format, click here.

New Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne Speaks With Recreation Leaders

Some 20 recreation and tourism community leaders, including ARC President Derrick Crandall, joined new Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, for a conference call on Thursday, June 1. Mr. Kempthorne was sworn in as the 49th Secretary of the Interior on May 26 and is spending substantial time reaching out to Interior’s constituents. He has spoken with environmentalists and sportsmen and met with energy and conservation leaders – together. The conference call was a prelude to a face-to-face meeting with recreation interests in the near future.

Derrick Crandall’s report on the meeting follows.