NPS Director's Order #21 Released, Bedwell to Direct Recreation Resources for Forest Service

National Park Service (NPS) Director Fran Mainella on Monday released revised guidance on philanthropy in the National Park System. She announced that Director’s Order #21(DO #21) on Donations and Fundraising has been revised to reflect public comments, enhance partnerships and maintain private sector support for national parks. The Director’s Order was sent out for a 60-day public review period in October 2005. More than 1,000 comments on the draft were received. DO #21 became effective with its release on May 1.

ARC is currently reviewing Director's Order #21 and will share our analysis. We urge our members to read the document as well. For a copy of DO #21 in PDF format, click here. The revised Director’s Order and Reference Guide are also posted to

Gadgets for the Great Outdoors

Spring has come, and with it thoughts of the great outdoors. You're probably thinking, isn't the point of getting back to Mother Nature getting away from the trappings of technology? Not necessarily so. The right gadget can help enhance your commune with nature, whether it is a picnic in the park or a long hike in the woods.

Source: PC Magazine

To read this article, click here.

White-Water Rafting -- In the City

This summer the first man-made rafting park in the U.S. opens outside Charlotte, N.C. Are more urban parks on the way?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FORTUNE Small Business) - Coming soon to a metropolis near you: Class IV rapids. Jeff Wise, a former software entrepreneur, is helping develop the first white-water park in the U.S., on a 307-acre plot outside Charlotte. The nonprofit park opens in June and will host world-class competitions, though Wise wants weekend warriors to show up too.

NPS Regional Director Blaszak Addresses Stagnant National Park Visitor Numbers

Marcia Blaszak, Alaska Regional Director of the National Park Service, addressed an oversight hearing of the House Resources Committee's National Parks Subcommittee on April 6. The topic was “Visitation Trends in the National Park System”. A panel including leading travel industry representatives also addressed the subcommittee.

To read Ms. Blaszak's statement, the opening statements of Subcommittee Chairman Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Ranking Member Donna Christensen (D-VI), as well as the statements of travel industry panelists including John Schoppmann, Executive Vice President of Forever Resorts, click here.

The following is an excerpt from Ms. Blaszak's remarks:

National Park Service Review of Personal Watercraft Use to be Expedited

WASHINGTON DC – The National Park Service was directed to expedite the process to review the use of personal watercraft in several National Parks at a March 15th hearing held by the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs.

Economist Laura Baughman, president of the Trade Partnership, an economic consulting firm, testified at the hearing regarding an economic impact study her firm recently completed for the personal watercraft industry about the cost of the bans in national parks. Ms. Baughman calculates the economic loss at $587 million annually.

The American Camper: Profiles and Perspectives

(Falls Church, VA)- The American Camper: Profiles and Perspectives, a research project of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), explores the unique lifestyles and leisure travel preferences/intentions of active campers and RV owners. The study's results are based on a sample of 1602 adults who have taken one or more overnight trips in which they stayed in a campground or RV park/resort in the past two years.

What is the demographic profile of these folks? What do they contribute to the economy? Will gas prices affect their trip planning? To read a summary of the important findings of this study, click here.

'Adventure Therapy' Effective in Maintaining Weight-loss in Older Teens

(Providence, RI) - Outward Bound based therapy may work better than aerobics for maintaining weight-loss in older teens. A new study suggests that weight-loss programs that encourage peer-support, and focus on building confidence through challenges are effective in helping some adolescents lose weight. This is the finding of a research paper appearing in the January 2005 issue of the International Journal of Obesity by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center (BHCRC) and The Miriam Hospital.

"Since weight gain in adolescence has been associated with a number of health problems in adulthood, we wanted to find a program that could offer teens an effective weight-loss strategy," says lead author Elissa Jelalian, PhD, a child psychologist with the BHCRC and Brown Medical School.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Begins Wildlife Enthusiast Survey

(Washington, DC) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts for their participation in the 11th National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The survey begins March 27, with the first calls to 85,000 households. Individuals who choose to participate will be asked about their participation and expenditures in several categories of wildlife-associated recreation.

Results from this survey will be published beginning in 2007 in a national report and in 50 individual state reports. The 2001 survey revealed 82 million Americans enjoyed some form of wildlife-related recreation and spent more than $108 billion pursuing their activities.

RTP Champion Petri Receives Awards from Snowmobilers

On March 18, 2006, the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) and Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC) honored U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R - WI), for his longstanding support for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and for the leading role he played in the RTP’s successful reauthorization in 2005. To read more, click here.

ARC Salutes Secretary Norton's Many Contributions to Outdoor Recreation

(Washington, D.C.) - Gale A. Norton tendered her resignation to President Bush on March 10, 2006 after five years of service to the nation as Secretary of the Interior. In response, American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall issued a statement commenting on Secretary Norton's involvement with the recreation community. To read this statement, click here.