News

Items of Interest

February 21, 2006 - From the Wall Street Journal:
"In South Africa, Insurer Gives Points for Healthy Living"
Click Here

February 13, 2006 - From the Los Angeles Times:
"Fishing's Lure Lost on Young"
Click Here

January 31, 2006 - From the Ventura County Star:
"Volunteeer Bike Crew Hoping to Expand"
Click Here

President's FY 2007 Budget Reduces Recreation Spending

ARC offers this initial overview of the President’s FY 2007 Budget. We will update the website with additional details and clarifications as our understanding increases.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

(Washington, D.C.) - Secretary Gail Norton emphasized three areas of strategic focus for the FY 2007 Department of the Interior budget released February 6th at a press briefing: collaborative approaches and partnerships, facilitating energy production and continuing Indian trust reform. She stressed that the theme of working with partners appears throughout the budget, and that the Cooperative Conservation program which leverages non-federal investments in stewardship, will receive a boost under this budget request. The second strategic focus is implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005 Act through increased exploration, development and leasing of diverse energy resources, both on federal lands and in deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Action by Congress to open the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration and development, and an initial ANWR lease sale in 2008, are assumptions of the budget. Overall, the current appropriations request of $10.5 billion represents a decrease of $321.9 million or 2.9% below the FY 2006 enacted level, excluding hurricane funding. Permanent funding sources will add an additional $5.6 billion, for a total Interior budget of $16.1 billion.

The overall DOI budget includes $1.2 billion to support recreation goals, including improving access to recreation opportunities. Program reductions of interest to the recreation community include no funding for LWCF Fund State grants, a $29.7 million reduction from FY 2006 levels. According to Secretary Norton, budget request reductions are targeted at programs identified as “less central to Interior’s core mission”, programs that are duplicative, or those, like the LWCF State Grant program, which are deemed more appropriate for state and local funding. The federal side of the LWCF survived, but is reduced to $91 million in the FY 2007 budget request. The Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program remains unfunded for a third year. What follows is a summary by agency of budget items of interest to the recreation community.

ARC Recommends...News and Articles of Interest to Recreation Leaders

Outdoors columnist and would-be athlete Tom Wharton, writing in the The Salt Lake Tribune, challenged the outdoor gear industry, whose semi-annual trade show opens in Salt Lake this week, with the observation that “the message manufacturers too often send through advertisements and gear is that only the young, fit and healthy are worthy.” To read this article, click here .

John Merline, writing this week for TCS Daily, notes that spending on recreation has climbed at about the same rate as health care costs over the last 20 years – 386%. As the nation grows richer, he argues, “it has ramped up spending in several areas, including health care, that improve quality of life.” To read more, click here.

Building A Scenic Byways Program For The Future: A New and Exciting Role for the Byways Coalition

Washington, D.C. (November 17, 2005) Derrick Crandall, president of ARC, has announced that leaders in the transportation, recreation, conservation, tourism, heritage and economic development communities have agreed to revitalize the national coalition that led to the creation of the National Scenic Byways Program in 1991.

WOW on the Water Curriculum and Program Manual Available

The first edition of a curriculum and program manual for Wonderful Outdoor World’s WOW on the Water has been prepared by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and the Bureau of Reclamation. WOW on the Water is a day-long experience in water-based recreation, merging fun with learning for children. The program is especially appropriate for urban and minority youth from 10 to14 years of age.

Forty-Five New Byways Designations Announced

Forty-five new and extended American Scenic Byways were announced by US Department of Transportation officials at a ceremony at Union Station in Washington, DC. The new Scenic Byways and All American Roads are in twenty-seven states and join ninety-six byways previously designated subsequent to establishment of the National Scenic Byways Program in 1991. J. Richard Capka, Acting Federal Highway Administrator, praised the grass-roots energy of the byways community, including some 200 who had gathered for two days of implementation training and celebration in the Capital. Mr. Capka praised the Byways program as an FHWA success story for promoting America’s historic, scenic, natural and cultural gems, and also as an economic development engine for rural communities throughout the nation.

Great Outdoors Week 2005 Plans Announced

NEWS


Contact: Derrick Crandall

GREAT OUTDOORS WEEK 2005 WILL FOCUS ON PROPOSED RECREATION POLICY ACT AND NATIONAL RECREATION STRATEGY

Click here to see the latest agenda

Washington, D.C. - Great Outdoors Week 2005 – June 5 -11 – will highlight efforts underway to enact a new national recreation policy act designed to enhance outdoor recreation’s contributions to Americans’ health and quality of life. The legislation also calls for a new National Recreation Strategy that responds to changing and growing demands for quality recreation on federally-managed lands and waters – areas that cover one-third of the nation’s surface.

ARC Receives Forest Service's Public Service Award

NEWS

ARC RECEIVES FOREST SERVICE'S PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

Washington, DC - January 6, 2005. The American Recreation Coalition received the Forest Service's Public Service award at the agency's Centennial Congress. The award recognizes significant contributions to public service by a group or organization outside the Forest Service.

In presenting the award, the Forest Service noted that the American Recreation Coalition "has long been a strong Forest Service partner and has sponsored numerous major programs for youth education, fire prevention, recreation management and information, public awareness, social science understanding, and customer service. The Coalition continues to be instrumental in supporting quality outdoor recreation programs for the public and supports the Agency in accomplishing that diverse challenge."

Congress Replaces National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program

NEWS
Contact: Derrick Crandall

Congress Replaces National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program

Washington, D.C. (November 24, 2004) – The National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, created in 1996 as a three-year experiment, will soon be replaced by a new recreation fee program covering five federal agencies and providing a ten-year fee authorization. The new Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, created under Section J of HR 4818, the omnibus appropriations measure for Fiscal Year 2005, is based upon legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Ralph Regula (OH-16) and amended and approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources. Mr. Regula played a central role in the development of the fee demo program and its extension as the Congress sought to craft long-term recreation fee policy.

Interior Department Solicitor Meets with Recreation Community

NEWS

Contact: Derrick Crandall

Interior Department Solicitor Meets with Recreation Community

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s newly named Solicitor recently met with recreation community leaders at the American Recreation Coalition’s July Recreation Exchange. Sue Ellen Wooldridge was named to her position by President Bush effective June 1, 2004. As head of the office that is responsible for providing legal advice to the Secretary of the Interior and to the Interior Department’s agencies and offices, she was frank about the challenges inherent in formulating a unified legal position for a department that contains such disparate entities as the Fish and Wildlife Service, with its threatened and endangered species role, and the Bureau of Reclamation, which is largely responsible for generating power and delivering water to agricultural customers.