Outdoor Recreation Industry Applauds Withdrawal of Nps Director’s Order #100

Outdoor Recreation Industry Applauds Withdrawal of NPS Director’s Order #100

Washington, D.C. (August 25, 2017) – Organizations representing a large majority of the $887 billion per year outdoor recreation industry applaud the August 25 announcement by the National Park Service (NPS) that it is withdrawing its Director’s Order #100.

The Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) recognizes the withdrawal of Director’s Order #100 as an opportunity for partnerships that will help the national parks remain relevant to and cherished by an increasingly urban population by providing new visitor services like modernized campgrounds, Wi-Fi, expanded visitor activities and more. These new services will help breathe new life into national parks across the country, but would have been impossible under Director’s Order #100.

"ORIR strongly supports the protection of America’s cultural and natural heritage,” said Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and ORIR member. “The withdrawal of Director’s Order #100 represents a welcome rethinking by the National Park Service on how it can remain relevant to future generations of Americans and better adapt to changing visitor needs. This positions the National Park Service to adopt more nimble, innovative and effective management practices as it enters its second century.”

ORIR recognizes – and shares – the agency’s desire to protect national parks, which prompted the initial order. However, ORIR was very concerned with the limited public input following the order and with the order itself which stifled innovation and adaptation to changing conditions. The order would have prevented the agency from working in partnership with natural allies in the recreation community and beyond to fulfil the agency’s core values outlined in the Organic Act and inscribed on Yellowstone’s iconic Roosevelt Arch, that America’s national parks are created to both conserve and protect these spaces “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

ORIR members were also concerned that the order’s elevation of “scientific literacy” to an absolute requirement for park superintendents and other agency leaders was short-sighted and would hurt the agency, robbing it of gifted leaders. They noted that neither Stephen Mather, the visionary businessman who became the agency’s first director, nor the legendary seventh director, attorney George Hartzog, would have satisfied this new restrictive requirement.

“Our nation’s Great Outdoors have been enhanced by the vision and the actions of many. We have the world’s first and best systems of national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and more,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association and ORIR member. “That same vision and action are needed today to harness opportunities offered by technology. This is not a time for more red tape and reluctance to think out of the box.”

The Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable greatly appreciates the agency’s decision to withdraw Director’s Order #100 and looks forward to working with the National Park Service to encourage and support the public’s use and enjoyment of America’s magnificent national parks.

To read ORIR’s letter of thanks regarding the withdrawal, click here.

To read Director’s Order #100, click here.