Recreation Leaders Talk Strategy on Infrastructure, Fees and Outreach

Recreation Leaders Talk Strategy on Infrastructure, Fees and Outreach

Recreation leaders gathered on October 16 to hear key Administration, Congressional and private sector insiders assess prospects for success on key recreation initiatives.  The American Recreation Coalition’s 2017 Fall Recreation Issues Briefing reviewed goals on topics including enhancing and expanding recreation infrastructure, use of recreation fees, public/private partnerships, outreach and marketing and more.

Among the many experts sharing views at the session were:  

  • Interior’s Assistant Deputy Secretary (and Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks) Todd Willens;
  • Agriculture’s Acting Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Dan Jiron;
  • US House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Staff Director Cody Stewart; and
  • Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon.
  • Participants heard insiders share the latest on: recreation prospects from any "infrastructure" opportunities; challenges posed by a tough year for disasters including wildfires and hurricanes; the prognosis for implementing an Administration objective of reducing process and “getting to yes” to boost recreation; and the implications for recreation issues of partisan clashes on topics from tax reform to healthcare.  Participants also gained some sage counsel on how to present – and then pursue – their requests.  Much of the advice and information delivered will be posted for recreation community leaders to view through ARC’s website.

    The first two episodes are now available:

  • Click here for opening comments by Interior’s Todd Willens; and
  • Click here for opening comments by Agriculture’s Dan Jiron.
  • Among the key comments by Todd Willens:

  • “Going back through the years, recreation on our public lands has brought people together across our great nation…”
  • “Not only is outdoor recreation important to foster the social ties that bring us together as one American people, it’s also a major economic driver.”
  • “…our guiding principle will be that famous line etched into the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone National Park, “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
  • “The all-American experience of outdoor recreation on our public lands is about the most “Made in America” thing there is, and we believe in passing that experience on to our children and grandchildren."
  • Young people should have a tie to the land, and we are modernizing where it’s appropriate. Just recently, the National Park Service announced its first ever concessions contract for wireless internet services at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area just outside of Las Vegas.
  • We also need to upgrade the restrooms, fix the trails, improve the campgrounds and modernize the Visitor Centers at a lot of places. Under Secretary Zinke’s leadership, we are turning our focus back to the public experience.”
  • Click here to check out our impressive list of presenters, as well as links to the handouts.

    The briefing was held at AAA’s National Public Affairs Office.