Recreation and Conservation Leaders Host Congressional Briefing on Disaster Recovery Needs

Recreation and Conservation Leaders Host Congressional Briefing on Disaster Recovery Needs

Hurricane damage at Virgin Islands National Park

Disaster recovery on America’s public lands and waters was the focus of a joint briefing on Capitol Hill December 5.  Officials from recreation and conservation organizations, including The Corps Network, National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA), and National Parks Conservation Association briefed Congressional staffers and public and private partners on natural resource recovery needs in national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges and other public lands systems in the wake of a devastating year of hurricanes, drought, wildfires and other natural disasters.  We were delighted that key Administration officials including Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Doug Domenech attended and joined in the conversations about restoring communities and recreation services, not just the lands.

Speakers included:

  • Caroline Brouwer – Director of Government Affairs, National Wildlife Refuge Association
  • Derrick Crandall – Counselor, National Park Hospitality Association
  • Sarah Gaines Barmeyer – Senior Managing Director of Conservation Programs, National Parks Conservation Association
  • John Garder – Senior Director of Budget and Appropriations, National Parks Conservation Association
  • Rachel Lettre – Eastern Program Director, Student Conservation Association
  • Rebecca Turner – Senior Director of Programs and Policy, American Forests
  • Tyler Wilson – Director of Government Relations, The Corps Network
  • Recreation infrastructure – campgrounds, lodges, trails, beaches, marinas and more – is often overlooked in the planning for recovery from disaster, severely impacting local economies.  Everglades, Glacier and Virgin Islands National Parks, as well as Sierra National Forest, are just a few of the places impacted by natural disasters in 2017.  The widespread damage has caused significant negative consequences for visitors, agencies, concessioners, surrounding communities and more.  To read NPHA’s full briefing packet, click here.

    To read letters from the outdoor recreation community to the Congress and the Administration requesting the inclusion of America’s public lands and waters in disaster relief funding, click here and here.