December 2011 Newsletter

December 2011 Newsletter


This newsletter is available in PDF format here.

In this issue:


Partners Outdoors 2012: New Strategies in Federal Recreation Funding
Technology Makes Fun Outdoors a Health Generator
Western Governors to Support Great Outdoors Efforts
Recreational Marine Leaders Gather for Growth Summit
Interior Secretary Salazar Speaks at, Tours National RV Show in Louisville
Congress Passes Legislation Enhancing Summer Visitor Services by Ski Areas
America’s Great Outdoors Initiative Releases 50-State Report
One Step Closer to Establishing 21st-Century Conservation Service Corps




Partners Outdoors 2012: New Strategies in Federal Recreation Funding

Partners Outdoors 2012 will take place at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, on January 8-11, 2012. Recreation community leaders from the public and private sectors will build and enhance partnerships to develop ideas to improve recreation fee programs. General session topics will include: current findings on park visitors; accomplishments and challenges of the current federal recreation fee programs; options for future recreation fee programs; creative strategies to meet the financial needs of public recreation programs; new strategies to connect health, education, tourism and the great outdoors – and more.

Confirmed speakers include: Craig Crutchfield, Chief of the Interior Branch at the Office of Management and Budget; Bruce Peacock, Chief of the Environmental Quality Division of the National Park Service; Mary Coulombe, Chief of Natural Resources Management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Kitty Benzar, President of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition; and John Flood, Chief of the Sustainment and Community Services Branch at Langley Air Force Base.

Participation in the event is by invitation only. For information, contact Catherine Ahern at cahern@funoutdoors.com.

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Technology Makes Fun Outdoors a Health Generator

The Bipartisan Policy Center hosted an engaging session in early December on how to use technology in the outdoors to increase physical activity by Americans. The meeting attracted some outstanding thinkers – and people who think that the key to overcoming sedentary lifestyles and obesity is increasing outdoor fun!

Participants included the Entertainment Software Association, AARP, Verizon, National Association of State Boards of Education, Active Network, Girl Scouts of the USA, Boy Scouts of America, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and “techies” like Hopelab, Shinobi Labs, Two Bulls and PreventObesity.net.

The discussion also attracted heavyweights like Director of the National Park Service Jon Jarvis, who was very engaged in the day’s events. For more information on lessons learned, please contact Derrick Crandall at dcrandall@funoutdoors.com. The day’s program and list of participants are available here.

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Tech Tip: QR Codes

You’ve seen QR codes in ads and on products – they’re the black and white pictures that allow smartphone users to connect directly to websites. Are you using QR codes to link users to your website? All you need to create a QR code is a web address and a free QR code generator. The National Park Service explains how in their newsletter.


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Western Governors to Support Great Outdoors Efforts

The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) met early this month to discuss ways to encourage American families to be active outdoors more frequently and support the recreation industry. WGA, led by its Chair and Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire, announced its Get Out West! campaign earlier this year. The initiative highlights the connection of outdoor recreation and tourism to the health of local economies in the West as well as the health of American citizens.

Governors including Gregoire, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard participated in the event and were very vocal in their praise for recreation and tourism. Each volunteered to do more to be personally involved in using national and state parks and other outdoor assets to aid Western economies.

And participants in the meeting – particularly Governor Brewer – were receptive to becoming more involved in opportunities like Great Outdoors Month and National Get Outdoors Day. These celebrations take place during the month of June and focus on getting American families to explore the outdoors and have fun. Forty-nine state governors supported Great Outdoors Month last year by proclaiming June as Great Outdoors Month.


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Recreational Marine Leaders Gather for Growth Summit

The National Marine Manufacturers Association hosted a summit of 160 marine industry leaders December 13 and 14 to address how the industry can grow in 2012. Leaders from all segments of the industry were in attendance, including bankers, big box retailers, consumer organizations, dealers, distributors, insurance companies, boat, engine and accessory manufacturers, marinas, boat yards, trade associations, publishers, yacht brokers, marine representatives and government groups.

Participants at the summit worked together to address priorities for the industry to focus on in the coming months, including universal recognition that all segments of the industry have a role and an important stake in developing approaches to grow the industry.

For the full summit agenda and related information, go here. A key presentation at the summit on demography and economics was made by former Bureau of the Census Director and now Rice University Professor Steve Murdock and is available here.


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Interior Secretary Salazar Speaks at, Tours National RV Show in Louisville

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar traveled to the National RV Show in Louisville in late November at the invitation of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. He appeared at the Outlook Breakfast which kicks off the RV industry’s premier annual event.

The Secretary praised the RV industry as “All-American” – citing the jobs involved in the $40 billion per annum RV manufacturing, sales and service sectors, and pledging efforts to help deliver great experiences when RVers visit the 25% of the nation’s surface managed by his department. He noted the special attraction of America’s national parks, one of the systems he oversees, and noted his efforts to encourage visits through fee waivers and more. He outlined the steps being taken under the Administration’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, including efforts to create the nation’s largest urban campground at Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City.

The Secretary also toured the Show, which covered some 800,000 square feet and showcased RVs demonstrating new concepts and technologies, including dramatic reductions in weight and increases in durability.

To view the Secretary’s remarks, click here.


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Congress Passes Legislation Enhancing Summer Visitor Services by Ski Areas

President Barack Obama signed the bipartisan Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act into law on November 7, 2011. The law amends the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 and will allow ski areas to provide expanded recreation opportunities during summer months. One hundred twenty-one ski areas now operate on public lands. The passage of the bill will allow ski area communities to attract visitors year-round, creating jobs and supporting local economies.

Ski areas will expand summer activities like zip lining, mountain biking, hiking, leading to expanded hospitality opportunities and more. The law's proponents say that it will create 600 extra jobs and is expected to bring in an additional $40 million to local communities in direct spending.


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Scenic Byways Program Grants Now Available

The Federal Highway Administration is now soliciting applications for fiscal year 2012 National Scenic Byways Program grants. Applications are due by January 6, 2012.


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America’s Great Outdoors Initiative Releases 50-State Report

The America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative was launched by President Obama in 2010 to foster a 21st-century approach to engage the American people directly in the great outdoors. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, a principal on the AGO effort, spent the summer of 2011 working with each state governor to identify specific projects in which the federal government could partner with states to advance AGO goals.

The AGO team released a report last month that summarizes two project ideas in each state for the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies to partner with state and local governments and other stakeholders on a shared conservation and recreation agenda. The American Recreation Coalition has compiled a reference guide to identify projects that specifically seek to improve outdoor recreation opportunities. Of the 100 projects listed in the report, 18 mention fishing, 13 mention boating, 4 mention camping and 10 mention trails.


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One Step Closer to Establishing 21st-Century Conservation Service Corps

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack December 8 announced an important step in the creation of a 21st-Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), an organization called for in President Obama's America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Report. Secretaries Salazar and Vilsack named members of a newly established federal advisory committee that will provide recommendations on how to build on the important ongoing work of local, state, federal and nonprofit youth conservation corps that engage young Americans in hands-on service and job training experiences on public lands and open spaces.

21CSC will empower young people including low-income, underserved and diverse youth and returning veterans with valuable training and work experience, while accomplishing important conservation and restoration work for America's great outdoors, waterways and cultural heritage sites.

The federal advisory committee is composed of representatives from the nation’s conservation, service and workforce development groups along with representatives from federal agencies. The committee will provide AGO leadership with advice on a number of topics: a framework for 21CSC’s organizational structure; certification criteria for 21CSC providers and members; strategies to overcome existing barriers to successful program implementation; partnership opportunities with outside organizations; and pathways for 21CSC participants to pursue future conservation, community engagement and natural resource careers.

The news release from the Department of the Interior is available here. The 21CSC Advisory Committee website is here.


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For more information or to address questions/comments, please email: jmitchell@funoutdoors.com. To unsubscribe, please send an email to jmitchell@funoutdoors.com.

American Recreation Coalition
1225 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 450, Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 202-682-9530 Fax: 202-682-9529 www.funoutdoors.com