Recreation Exchange

National Park Service Director Outlines Agency Challenges – and Solutions

National Park Service Director Outlines Agency Challenges – and Solutions


This report is available as a .pdf here.

June 7, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) – The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) welcomed Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, as its special guest speaker at the Great Outdoors Week Recreation Exchange on June 4, 2013. The Exchange was hosted jointly by ARC and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Director Jarvis’s remarks covered a number of key topics, including: the challenges currently facing the National Park Service; the agency’s upcoming Centennial in 2016; and new agency initiatives.

Federal Highway Administration Official Provides Update on Transportation Policy

Federal Highway Administration Official Provides Update on Transportation Policy

October 11, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) – The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) welcomed John Horsley, Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and Gregory Nadeau, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), as the special guests at its October Recreation Exchange. Mr. Nadeau and ARC President Derrick Crandall used the Exchange as an opportunity to pay tribute to Mr. Horsley, who is retiring from AASHTO at the end of the year. Mr. Crandall praised him for his leadership within the transportation community, as both a key official at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) during the Clinton Administration and in his current position at AASHTO. Mr. Nadeau thanked Mr. Horsley for his assistance as a personal mentor, which he credited as preparing him for his current position at DOT, and for guiding AASHTO as it evolved from a highway-focused organization to one with a multi-modal orientation. Mr. Horsley thanked the members of the recreation community for their partnership with AASHTO. He noted that, unlike AASHTO, very few public policy organizations understand the importance of the recreation industry and cited the lack of communication between state DOT’s and their counterparts in Tourism and Economic Development as a continuing challenge for AASHTO to address both now and in the future.

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Discusses Management Challenges and Solutions

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Discusses Management Challenges and Solutions

April 20, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) – Rachel Jacobson, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, was the special guest at the American Recreation Coalition’s April Recreation Exchange. Joining the Assistant Secretary as resource persons for her presentation were James Kurth, Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System, and Bert Frost, Associate Director of the National Park Service for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science. Ms. Jacobson oversees the operations of both agencies.

Under Secretary of Agriculture Cites Challenges, Calls for Partnerships at Recreation Exchange

Under Secretary of Agriculture Cites Challenges, Calls for Partnerships at Recreation Exchange

March 21, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) – Harris Sherman, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment, offered an encouraging, pro-partnership message at the Recreation Exchange hosted by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) on March 20, 2012. The Under Secretary spoke candidly about significant challenges facing the U.S. Forest Service, one of two federal agencies that he oversees, but also invited the recreation community to join the agency in finding creative ways to meet those challenges.

White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley Speaks at Recreation Exchange

July 20, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) - The Honorable Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), was the special guest at the Great Outdoors Month Recreation Exchange on June 16, 2011 hosted by the American Recreation Coalition in Washington, D.C. Exchanges featuring guests who are influencing recreation public policy in America have been held since 1979.

Ms. Sutley serves as the principal environmental policy adviser to the President of the United States. CEQ coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. CEQ works to balance environmental, economic, and social objectives in pursuit of "productive harmony" between humans and the human environment. Chair Sutley was one of the four Cabinet-rank leaders tapped by President Barack Obama to lead his America's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative and, in fact, CEQ played a central coordinating role in the planning and conducting of extensive public involvement and the preparation of the report to the President in February 2011. Chair Sutley was named a co-recipient of the 2011 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award for her leadership efforts on behalf of the AGO.

Top federal agency representatives and recreation community leaders gathered in the South Interior Building auditorium to hear Chair Sutley's remarks on the AGO initiative and for the presentation of ARC's 2011 Legends Awards. Chair Sutley began the discussion by touching on her recent trip to Newark, New Jersey, where she helped open an area urban park. She recounted her experience at the park, remarking that it was a surprise to “feel peace and serenity in a park in [such] a rough area.” The opportunity to enjoy nature must be made available to Americans – eighty percent of whom now live in cities and suburbs. Chair Sutley pointed out that, accordingly, urban parks must be made a priority. If we do not “protect, restore and link these special places” – like the park in Newark – we risk raising a generation of Americans who have no connection to nature, she said.

USACE Chief of Operations Speaks at Recreation Exchange

June 1, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) - Mike Ensch, Chief of Operations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), was the special guest speaker at the Recreation Exchange on May 19, 2011 hosted by the American Recreation Coalition in Washington, D.C. Exchanges featuring guests who are influencing recreation public policy in America have been held since 1979.

Mr. Ensch has been Chief of Operations for the Corps’ Directorate of Civil Works since November 2007. He oversees key national programs including Operations and Maintenance of Navigation (locks, dams, channels, and harbors), Hydropower (facilities with a combined electrical-production capacity that is the largest in the U.S.), Environmental Stewardship (natural resources and recreation), and Regulatory (wetland protection, including Section 404 and Section 10 permits). Mr. Ensch also serves as the Regional Integration Team Leader for the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division of the Corps.

Mr. Ensch began the discussion by touching on the flood situation along the Mississippi River. Had it not been for the Corps-managed levee system, he said, the Mississippi River would be 80 miles wide at Vicksburg, Mississippi, as it was in pre-levee 1927. While Corps maintenance and management of our nation’s infrastructure is crucial – as evidenced by the events of May – recreation is also a priority of the organization. Mr. Ensch utilized the Recreation Exchange to describe the Corps' new recreation strategy, which will facilitate Corps efforts to continue its role as the nation’s largest public provider of places and opportunities for active recreation and healthy lifestyles. A primary goal of the strategy is engaging current and new partners to ensure quality and safe outdoor recreation opportunities.

USDA Forest Chief Tom Tidwell Speaks at ARC March 24, 2011 Recreation Exchange

USDA Forest Chief Tom Tidwell Speaks at ARC Recreation Exchange

March 25, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) - Tom Tidwell, Chief of the USDA Forest Service, was the special guest speaker at the Recreation Exchange on March 24, 2011 hosted by the American Recreation Coalition in Washington, D.C.

Exchanges have featured guests who are influencing recreation public policy in America near-monthly since 1979.

As Chief of the Forest Service, Mr. Tidwell leads the agency responsible for the management of 193 million acres of national forests and national grasslands. These lands provide an amazing diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities, connecting people with nature in an unmatched variety of settings and activities and hosting some 200 million recreation visits to national forests annually.

The Chief has spent 33 years with the Forest Service, serving in a variety of positions at all levels of the agency. As Supervisor of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest during the XIX Olympic Winter Games in 2002, he helped showcase the role of the national forests in alpine skiing. As Deputy Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, he facilitated collaborative approaches to wildland fire management, roadless area management, and other issues. As Regional Forester for the Northern Region, he strongly supported community-based collaboration in the region, finding solutions based on mutual goals and thereby reducing the number of appeals and lawsuits.

In 2009, after being named Chief, Mr. Tidwell set about implementing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's vision for America's forests. Under his leadership, the Forest Service is focusing on restoring healthy, resilient forest and grassland ecosystems — ecosystems that can sustain all the benefits that Americans get from their wildlands, including plentiful supplies of clean water, abundant habitat for wildlife and fish, renewable supplies of wood and energy, and more.

Mr. Tidwell has facilitated an all-lands approach to addressing the challenges facing America's forests and grasslands, including the overarching challenge of climate change. Such challenges cross borders and boundaries; no single entity can meet them alone. The Forest Service is now working with states, Tribes, private landowners, and other partners for landscape-scale conservation — to restore ecosystems on a landscape scale.

The Chief shared with Recreation Exchange participants the importance recreation has had on his personal life. He told of his experiences growing up in Idaho, noting that he regarded the Boise National Forest as his backyard. He also talked of the change in his camping — from backpacking to reliance on more hard-sided accommodations to help his family feel safe in grizzly country. His own experiences prompted his personal interest in promoting the outdoors to youth. “I worry about our youth not having these experiences,” he said. “We want the youth of today to explore their outdoors and forests and to be comfortable and safe.” He also described skiing the downhill course at the Winter Olympics the day prior to competition.

He addressed key issues and activities, including the Obama Administration's America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative and the Forest Service's proposed Planning Rule as well as current and potential partnerships with the recreation community. He emphasized the value of recreation in the national forests to the nation in terms of jobs and the economy — at least $14.5 billion, or more than half of the total contribution of the Forest Service to GDP — and health, saying, “Recreation is a major part of our role in managing the 193 million acres of forests and grasslands. We recognize the full value of recreation to the nation and communities, such as economic and employment opportunities, and healthy lifestyles.”

Recreation Exchanges

MARCH 2011 RECREATION EXCHANGE

Special Guest: Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service,U.S. Department of Agriculture

DATE/TIME:     Thursday, March 24, 2011; 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

PLACE:         Bobby Van’s Grill
               1201 New York Avenue, NW
               Washington, D.C.
                        
COST:          $60 per person for non-Recreation Exchange subscribers      

RSVP:          By 4:00 pm on Tuesday, March 22 to (202) 682-9530 or cahern@funoutdoors.com 

The American Recreation Coalition is delighted to welcome Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, as the special guest at its March 2011 Recreation Exchange. As Chief of the Forest Service, Mr. Tidwell leads the agency responsible for the management of 193 million acres of national forests and national grasslands. These public lands provide an amazing diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities, connecting people with nature in an unmatched variety of settings and activities. Be sure to join us on March 24 as Chief Tidwell shares his thoughts on key issues and activities, including the Obama Administration’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, the Forest Service’s proposed Planning Rule and recently released Framework for Sustainable Recreation, as well as budgets, fees, and current and potential partnerships with the recreation community. Call ARC at (202) 682-9530 or e-mail cahern@funoutdoors.com by 4:00 pm on Tuesday, March 22 to let us know your plans.

2010 Legends Awards

Secretary Vilsack with 2010 Legends Award winners representing six federal agencies

Secretary Vilsack

Secretary Vilsack addresses the crowd at the June 2010 Recreation Exchange