News Release Coalition Outlines Principles Key to Reauthorization of FLREA

COALITION OF RECREATION, CONSERVATION AND TOURISM ORGANIZATIONS OUTLINES PRINCIPLES KEY TO REAUTHORIZATION OF FLREA

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2014) – A group of thirty-two national organizations outlined twelve consensus principles which would secure support for the reauthorization of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA). The coalition explained its goals in a letter to Chairman Rob Bishop and Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation in conjunction with a hearing held on Friday, April 4.

Chairman Bishop has proposed a bill to amend and reauthorize FLREA. Originally passed in 2004, FLREA has become a critical source of support to five federal land agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. FLREA provides more than $300 million annually through entrance fees, campground fees and other recreation related charges.

The Coalition for Recreation Enhancement on Federal Lands, co-led by the Honorable Dr. Wayne Allard of the American Motorcyclist Association and Derrick Crandall of the American Recreation Coalition, hosted discussions involving diverse organizations committed to connecting Americans with the Great Outdoors. Topics discussed during the discussions ranged from methods to strengthen public involvement in federal fee programs to improved access by the public to information about how collected fees are spent. The organizations strongly support retention and use of fees closely linked to the sites and the activities which generated the fees. The organizations also strongly backed periodic Congressional oversight of fees by sunset provisions in legislation authorizing fees at intervals of no longer than ten years. The signers also urged fee systems which were convenient and cost-effective.

“Today’s hearing was an important opportunity to engage in the legislative process before Members of Congress have taken positions. We delivered a message that the concept of recreation fees enjoys broad support but that poor communication from the agencies had raised concerns. Our Coalition outlined twelve principles which will lead toward a program which achieves better recreational experiences for millions and will generate public support for increased reliance on fees at federal recreation sites when tied to improved services. We look forward to working with Chairman Bishop and members of the committee on a bill that will help all Americans have memorable recreation experiences on federal lands,” said former U.S. Senator Allard of the AMA.

The letter was signed by organizations as diverse as AAA and PeopleForBikes, the National Tour Association and National Wildlife Federation, the National Ski Areas Association and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. A copy of the letter can be viewed at: www.funoutdoors.com/files/Joint%20FLREA%20Letter%20to%20House%20Final4.pdf.