Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell Seeks to Close Gap Between Kids and Nature

Washington, DC - (August 27, 2007) - Gail Kimbell, Chief of the USDA Forest Service, spoke to the August Recreation Exchange about her passion for the national forests and her commitment to introducing “more kids to the woods.” As a native New Englander, Chief Kimball has fond memories of the White Mountain National Forest. Her childhood memories strengthen her bond to the national forests and she hopes to encourage these types of connections for future visitors. Chief Kimbell discussed her agenda for closing the gap between nature and kids and shared her belief that programs designed to serve youth can lead to connections to other segments of the American public.

Corps Commander Expresses Support for Agency Recreation Efforts

Washington, D.C. (August 23, 2007) – Three recreation community leaders met with the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Lt. General Robert Van Antwerp, to address opportunities and challenges facing the Corps, the nation’s top federal provider of recreation experiences – nearly 400 million annually. Discussions ranged from strategies to attract children to outdoors fun to funding Corps recreation efforts, from the critical role of access to boating’s future to redefining the agency’s recreation efforts from an end goal in themselves to a strategy to contribute to the nation’s health and safety.

Recreation and 2008: Making Our Issues Count

Please join us for a policy forum on

Recreation and 2008: Making Our Issues Count

Do you feel it is time for American’s national leaders to address how outdoor recreation can contribute to a better America? If so, you’ll want to participate in this unique and important session dedicated to empowering the recreation community in national public policy debates. The focus of the meeting will be on making recreation issues visible in the 2008 elections.


  • Honorable Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senate (R-TN)

Get Outdoors USA! Helps Unlock the Fun of Outdoor Activities

(August 15, 2007). The Get Outdoors USA! program is committed to helping our children enjoy healthy, active outdoor lives. The substantial decrease in the amount of time kids spend outdoors and its detrimental effect on their physical, mental and spiritual well being have been widely recognized in the national and local media. Through recent releases of “10 Ways to Unlock the Fun of the Great Outdoors With Your Kids,” Get Outdoors USA! is encouraging parents and grandparents to engage their children in memorable and enjoyable outdoor activities. The “10 Ways” articles present helpful tips for people who wish to spend more time with their family as well as benefit from some healthy fun.

House Parks Panel Holds Hearing on "Next Century" Needs

Washington, D.C. (August 2, 2007) - On a hot and humid summer day in Washington jammed with hearings and meetings as Congress rushed to begin a month-long summer recess, the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a hearing for more than three hours on bold and dramatic ways to increase funding for national parks to ready them for the centennial of the National Park Service. The hearing drew a remarkably large and bipartisan group of Members of Congress, including eight members of the subcommittee and three additional Congressional witnesses, as well as Mary Bomar, Director of the National Park Service, and Gary A. Kiedaisch, President and CEO of The Coleman Company, Inc.

National Tourism Leaders Urge National Park Service Action

Washington, D.C. (July 30, 2007) – Top national tourism leaders today urged National Park Service Director Mary Bomar to approve promptly a new national park tourism plan entitled "Developing Relevance and Connections Through Tourism" and to convene a session to speed implementation of the plan.

According to the Chairman of the National Park Hospitality Association, “The proposed National Tourism Strategic Plan will allow the National Park Service (NPS) to connect more Americans to their parks and reverse a two decade pattern of stagnation and decline in visitation. The plan outlines strategies and actions which have great potential to strengthen cooperative relations between the NPS and its tourism partners, raise park staff understanding of the needs and expectations of actual and potential visitors, enhance the visitor experience in the national parks, introduce a more diverse population to the parks and promote more responsible visitor use.”

Great Outdoors Month 2007 Update

Great Outdoors Month 2007 began with a flourish, announced by a Presidential proclamation and through parallel actions by nearly half of the governors (to see copies of the proclamations, click here).

June 2 was National Trails Day and included some 1200 construction and maintenance projects across the nation. The next day marked the start of National Fishing and Boating Week, which included hundreds of events to introduce America’s youth to fun on and near the water. Great Outdoors Week followed and featured numerous high-profile events in the Nation’s Capitol, including the presentation of the 19th Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award.

Richard D. Bass of Snowbird Resort to Receive 2007 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award

Washington, D.C. – Richard D. Bass, Chairman and CEO of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, has been chosen to receive the 19th Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award – the recreation community’s most prestigious award. Mr. Bass, the first person to climb the highest peak on each of the seven continents, is one of the ski industry’s most dynamic and energetic leaders and has a remarkable record of community service to youth, the disabled and to the environment. “Dick Bass is a Renaissance man and a visionary demonstrating a life-long enthusiasm for confronting challenges that would deter virtually all others. He has always found multiple ways to invest his incredible energies,” remarked Derrick Crandall, American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President, as he announced the award.

President Proclaims June 2007 "Great Outdoors Month"

Washington, D.C. (May 29, 2007)- June is again Great Outdoors Month across the nation, proclaimed by President George W. Bush as a means to celebrate the rich blessings of America’s natural beauty and to highlight a commitment to protecting our environment so that we can leave our children and grandchildren a healthy and flourishing land for outdoor enjoyment.

The Presidential proclamation states, “Through recreational activities such as fishing, skiing, biking, and nature watching, we can teach our young people about the wonders of our Nation’s landscapes. Experiencing our Nation’s natural splendor contributes to healthier lives for our citizens and a deeper appreciation for the great outdoors.”

ARC Tells Congress Recreation Community Is Concerned About and Responding to Global Climate Issue

Washington, D.C. (May 24, 2007) - “The recreation community has been a solid and active proponent of environmental protection for decades,” American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President Derrick Crandall told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today, “and . . . the recreation industry seeks to be a vital part of public policy discussions and action on global climate change.”

“Can, should and is the recreation community taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to recreation? The answer to all three questions is YES. And we feel that together, government, industry and individuals can achieve important goals that are good for the environment – and make economic sense, too,” Crandall added.