Public Lands

Forest Service Unveils Proposed Planning Rule: Coalition for Recreation in National Forest to Analyze How Recreation is Treated

February 10, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) - The US Forest Service today unveiled its Draft Forest Planning Rule which would establish a new national framework to develop land management plans that protect water and wildlife and promote vibrant communities, the agency press release stated. "This proposed planning rule seeks to conserve our forests for the benefit of water, wildlife, recreation and the economic vitality of our rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

To read the full press release and proposed rule, click here.

Forest Service Planning Rule - Summary

Forest Service Planning Rule Summary by Coalition for Recreation in the National Forests

December 6, 2010 (Washington, DC) - CRNF has created this one page summary for use (1) with WGA, NACo and other potential allies, (2) for your use with new Members of Congress and other elected officials and (3) with news media.

To read the CRNF summary, click here.

41 Members of Congress Sign Letter to USFS Chief: Recreation A Key Factor in Planning

41 Members of Congress Tell FS Chief: Recreation is Key Factor in Planning

November 24, 2010 (Washington, DC) - Something big for recreation occurred on Capitol Hill in recent weeks. ARC’s efforts on the Forest Service Planning Rule over the past several months stimulated a letter signed by 41 Members of Congress and sent to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell on November 19th. The effort was led by U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), just elected as the Majority Whip for the 112th Congress, which convenes next January. “The Congressional letter stresses the importance of recreation and access in national forest planning – a very helpful message as the rule undergoes its final clearance in the Administration,” according to ARC President Derrick Crandall. “Representative McCarthy’s role as a recreation champion is important and welcomed, and we greatly appreciate his leadership,” he added. A parallel letter from U.S. Senators is being pursued.

To read the letter, click here.

National Forest Planning Rule: Recreation at Heart of Debate, Leaders tell Chief

<b>National Forest Planning Rule: Recreation at Heart of Debate, Leaders tell Chief (Continued

National Forest Planning Rule: Recreation at Heart of Debate, Leaders tell Chief

September 27, 2010 (Washington, DC) - A high-level, diverse group of recreation community leaders met today with the Chief of the Forest Service, Tom Tidwell, and top agency leaders today to express their major concerns with the new Forest Planning Rule now being prepared for publication and comments. According to Derrick Crandall, President, American Recreation Coalition, “this rule will have a significant impact on forest plans and will thus determine recreational opportunities on some 190 million acres of key federal lands.”

The seven recreation community leaders spoke on behalf of the $400 billion per annum recreation industry, enthusiasts and gateway communities. The Chief told the group, “it is appropriate and right for recreation to be the first thought when Americans think about the national forests.

The meeting came in response to a letter to the Chief from nearly 80 top recreation organizations expressing major concerns about the Planning Rule. Although they had responded to Forest Service invitations to help guide the rule, they had real doubts that the messages they had delivered in a series of meetings, in written comments and through an agency blog were understood and having an effect on the draft Planning Rule.

To read the letter, click here.

Recreation Leaders Prepare to Meet with Forest Service Chief

September 30, 2010 (Washington, DC) - Attending the Forest Service meeting, from left, Michael Berry, President, National Ski Areas Association, Lakewood, Colo.; Larry Smith, Executive Director, Americans for Responsible Recreational Access, Washington, DC; David Brown, Executive Director, America Outdoors Association, Knoxville, Tenn.; Hon. William Horn, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Washington, DC; Hon. Lyle Laverty, Executive Director, National Association of Gateway Communities, Denver, Colo.; Derrick Crandall, President, American Recreation Coalition. Not pictured, Michael Nussman, Pr

Senate Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing on Interior Secretary Nominee

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met for almost four hours on May 4 to receive statements and testimony and to question Governor Dirk Kempthorne, the president's nominee for Secretary of the Department of the Interior. A letter of support signed by 40 governors was received by the committee. In opening statements, many committee members mentioned Gov. Kempthorne’s skill as a consensus builder, problem solver, leader and steward of public land. He was noted to be “a respected national authority on resource issues.” The committee will vote on the nomination on Wednesday, May 10th. It is apparent that the confirmation of Governor Kempthorne’s nomination is likely.

NPS Director's Order #21 Released, Bedwell to Direct Recreation Resources for Forest Service

National Park Service (NPS) Director Fran Mainella on Monday released revised guidance on philanthropy in the National Park System. She announced that Director’s Order #21(DO #21) on Donations and Fundraising has been revised to reflect public comments, enhance partnerships and maintain private sector support for national parks. The Director’s Order was sent out for a 60-day public review period in October 2005. More than 1,000 comments on the draft were received. DO #21 became effective with its release on May 1.

ARC is currently reviewing Director's Order #21 and will share our analysis. We urge our members to read the document as well. For a copy of DO #21 in PDF format, click here. The revised Director’s Order and Reference Guide are also posted to

NPS Regional Director Blaszak Addresses Stagnant National Park Visitor Numbers

Marcia Blaszak, Alaska Regional Director of the National Park Service, addressed an oversight hearing of the House Resources Committee's National Parks Subcommittee on April 6. The topic was “Visitation Trends in the National Park System”. A panel including leading travel industry representatives also addressed the subcommittee.

To read Ms. Blaszak's statement, the opening statements of Subcommittee Chairman Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Ranking Member Donna Christensen (D-VI), as well as the statements of travel industry panelists including John Schoppmann, Executive Vice President of Forever Resorts, click here.

The following is an excerpt from Ms. Blaszak's remarks:

"No Net Loss" Hunting Legislation Work Group Convened

The American Recreation Coalition recently convened key national and regional recreation and hunting representatives to discuss the ongoing legislative effort at both the state and federal level to ensure no net loss of lands open to hunting. As a result of this initial conversation, a working group has been formed to look at the varying legislative approaches to “no net loss” that have been taken in different jurisdictions, to consider the legislation’s long-term implications, and to address any concerns within the recreation community about the legislation’s potential impact on public land managers and recreationists.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Begins Wildlife Enthusiast Survey

(Washington, DC) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts for their participation in the 11th National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The survey begins March 27, with the first calls to 85,000 households. Individuals who choose to participate will be asked about their participation and expenditures in several categories of wildlife-associated recreation.

Results from this survey will be published beginning in 2007 in a national report and in 50 individual state reports. The 2001 survey revealed 82 million Americans enjoyed some form of wildlife-related recreation and spent more than $108 billion pursuing their activities.