Boating & Fishing

National Park Service Review of Personal Watercraft Use to be Expedited

WASHINGTON DC – The National Park Service was directed to expedite the process to review the use of personal watercraft in several National Parks at a March 15th hearing held by the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs.

Economist Laura Baughman, president of the Trade Partnership, an economic consulting firm, testified at the hearing regarding an economic impact study her firm recently completed for the personal watercraft industry about the cost of the bans in national parks. Ms. Baughman calculates the economic loss at $587 million annually.

WOW on the Water Curriculum and Program Manual Available

The first edition of a curriculum and program manual for Wonderful Outdoor World’s WOW on the Water has been prepared by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and the Bureau of Reclamation. WOW on the Water is a day-long experience in water-based recreation, merging fun with learning for children. The program is especially appropriate for urban and minority youth from 10 to14 years of age.

Highway Bill Extended for 8 months

EIGHT-MONTH HIGHWAY BILL EXTENSION PASSED BY HOUSE

(September 30, 2004) The House voted 409-8 today to extend current surface transportation programs an additional eight months, as Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young, R-Alaska, vowed to keep trying for a conference deal on a stalled six-year highway reauthorization bill. The extension (HR 5183), which the Senate is expected to clear later today, would keep highway, public transportation and road safety programs going through May 31, 2005. It would provide about $24.5 billion in budget authority for highway programs, while transit programs would receive $5.2 billion, $4.2 billion of which would come from the Highway Trust Fund and an additional $1 billion would come from the general fund. House leaders gave in to the Senate in a dispute over $2 billion that the House wanted for road projects earmarked by members. Instead, those funds would be allocated in a way that ensures that each state receives its guaranteed 90.5 cents return per dollar of gas tax contributed for fiscal 2004.

Source: Congressional Quarterly 9-30-04

Defining and Creating a National Recreational Lakes Program

On June 13, 1995, members of the American Recreation Coalition and guests discussed the merit of a proposal to create a national Recreational Lakes Program. While united in support of the system, and convinced that changes underway at such key agencies as the Bureau of Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers and the Tennessee Valley Authority make the prospects for such a system good, the participants concluded that it was premature to be precise in terms of the extent of the system, the scope of lakes to be considered for inclusion or the specific objectives of the program. The following policy statement was developed by those participants and revised and approved by the ARC Board of Directors: