Lyle Laverty Confirmation

Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2007) – The United States Senate has confirmed Presidential nominee Lyle Laverty to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. After hearings before two different Senate committees with near-unanimous votes for approval, the nomination remained in limbo for several months. Mr. Laverty’s appointment has been highly praised by the recreation community because of his outstanding qualifications. He spent 35 years with the USDA Forest Service and most recently served as Director of Colorado State Parks. Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition, stated, “Lyle Laverty’s distinguished career reflects a true dedication to and passion for recreation policy matters; for this reason we submitted testimony supporting his appointment.”

Recreation and 2008: Forum Highlights Opportunities and Need for Action

Washington, D.C. (Thursday, September 20) -- Recreation issues can have an important place in the public policy debates associated with the elections of 2008, according to a diverse and potent group of national policy experts who spoke at Recreation 2008: Making Our Issues Count. The national forum, which was held by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), brought together key recreation and conservation leaders to discuss ways to encourage candidates for federal and state offices in 2008 to consider recreation and conservation issues as key means of achieving important goals in healthcare, education, crime deterrence and addressing other voter concerns.

Recreation Leaders Meet With Key National Officials

Washington, D.C. (September 11, 2007) Recreation leaders from across the nation met with top Congressional and Administration officials in Washington to discuss key issues, including the National Park Service Centennial Challenge, a proposal for a new national recreation commission, Great Outdoors Month 2008, and recreation’s important contributions to health, education and other public priorities.

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.