ARC at Missouri Governor's Natural Resources Conference

ARC President at Missouri Governor's Natural Resources Conference

This news release is also available as a PDF here.

Washington, D.C. (November 17, 2014) - American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall addressed some 400 state conservation and recreation leaders gathered at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Natural Resources in Springfield, Missouri, on November 12 and 13. Crandall spoke at two concurrent sessions held the first day on “Connecting People to Resources Through Recreation” and keynoted the second day’s general session with a presentation titled “Now Is the Time: Action to Seize the Incredible Opportunities Offered by Missouri's Great Outdoors.”

Other keynote sessions at the gathering featured Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, National Wildlife Federation President Collin O’Mara and Chad Pregracke, 2013 CNN Hero of the Year for his river clean-up efforts. The Conference was moderated by Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Sara Parker Pauley. The sessions were held at the White River Conference Center, a marvelous Bass Pro Shops' facility featuring handmade iron and deerskin chandeliers, a three-story stone fireplace, a massive woodland habitat diorama with a waterfall and the WOLF School. The school, a partnership with the Springfield Public School System, offers 46 lucky 5th graders the opportunity to come to the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium for classroom studies every day as part of a conservation science based learning program. These students learn the entire 5th grade curriculum through the lens of science.

Crandall discussed the diverse partners involved in Great Outdoors Month and highlighted its success. His presentation urged participants to team up with governors, Members of Congress, corporate leaders and others to keep the Great Outdoors relevant to an increasingly urban population and younger Americans with limited outdoors traditions. He lauded Missouri’s 30-year earmarking of a portion of state sales tax to conservation and noted additional funding ideas involving health, tourism and education. He called upon the conservation and recreation community to build champions by offering up good ideas – “public policy presents.” In his presentation, he identified ten of these “presents:”

  • Great Outdoors Month Public Service Announcements – like those done by Governors Mike Beebe (D-AR) and Butch Otter (R-ID) in 2014. To view these PSAs, click here
  • Capital Campouts – like those hosted in 2014 by governors in Colorado, Arkansas, Washington, Kansas and Georgia, with urban kids camping out on the lawns of governors’ residences or in nearby state parks
  • Ranger for a Day – opportunities for state legislators and Members of Congress and others to spend a day with visitors, observed by local media
  • Junior Fishing Licenses – to introduce kids to a lifetime of fun outdoors, with incentives from top fishing retailers
  • Highlighting outdoor fun with technology – like selfies, games and more
  • Free fishing and loans of fishing equipment in state parks
  • Free park passes at your local library – in return libraries allocate wall space for state parks displays with monthly listings of special events
  • Park passes for all foster families – sponsored by businesses
  • Citizenship ceremonies held in state parks – with new Americans receiving “gifts” of fishing licenses and ceremonial park passes
  • “Challenges” in the vein of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Missouri Governor’s 100 Miles Challenge, highlighting its award-winning trail system – outreach to the public, inviting their active participation
  • To view the whole presentation in PDF form, click here