National Recreation Lakes

About NRL


The Omnibus Parks and Land Management Act of 1996, P.L. 104-333, authorized the National Recreation Lakes Study Commission "to review the current and anticipated demand for recreational opportunties at federally-managed manmade lakes and reservoirs" and "to develop alternatives for enhanced recreational use of such facilities." The commission's final report, published in June 1999, recommended the establishment of an interagency Federal Lakes Recreation Leadership Council to coordinate recommentations of the Commission; a National Recreations Lakes Demonstration Program; and assessments at Federal lakes to determine customer needs, infrastructure and facility needs, and natural resource capabilities.

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Defining and Creating a National Recreational Lakes Program

On June 13, 1995, members of the American Recreation Coalition and guests discussed the merit of a proposal to create a national Recreational Lakes Program. While united in support of the system, and convinced that changes underway at such key agencies as the Bureau of Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers and the Tennessee Valley Authority make the prospects for such a system good, the participants concluded that it was premature to be precise in terms of the extent of the system, the scope of lakes to be considered for inclusion or the specific objectives of the program. The following policy statement was developed by those participants and revised and approved by the ARC Board of Directors: