Policies & Issues

ARC Urges No Delays In America The Beautiful Volunteer Pass

The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) urged federal officials to act quickly to implement provisions of the of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 directing federal agencies to issue a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass to volunteers "in exchange for significant volunteer services." In a letter to the Interior Department, ARC commented that, "It appeared to us at a recent Listening Session that agency representatives working on the issue do not share our enthusiasm for prompt implementation of this Congressional directive. We strongly believe that a Volunteer Pass should be an integral part of the America the Beautiful Pass from its inception, not deferred for future consideration."

House Passes Transportation Bill


On March 10, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA LU), by a vote of 417-9. As passed by the House, the bill authorizes a total of $503 million in funding for the Recreational Trails Program: $53, $70, $80, $90, $100 and $110 million for Fiscal Years 2004-2009. Funding for the National Scenic Byways Program increases from TEA-21 levels to $30, $40, $45, $55 (two years) and $60 million over the same time period. The legislation also authorizes funding – $3.5 million annually – for the America’s Byways Resource Center to provide technical support and conduct educational activities for local officials and organizations associated with National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. Included in the bill as well is extension of expenditure authority for The Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (also known as Wallop-Breaux) through Fiscal Year 2009. The diversion to the General Fund of 4.8 cents per gallon of taxes used in motorboats and the nonbusiness use of small-engine outdoor power equipment is not extended, which should provide substantial additional resources for the Wallop-Breaux fund.

The action now moves to the Senate where the Committee on Environment and Public Works began its consideration of the bill on March 16th.

For more information on Recreational Trails Program, Click here.
For more information on Scenic Byways, Click here.
For more information on Wallop Breaux, Click here.

Highway Bill Extended for 8 months


(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

ReserveAmerica Awarded NRRS Contract


Contact: Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623 (USDA)
Joan Moody (202) 208-6416 (DOI)
David Hewitt (202) 761-4826 (USACE)


E-Gov Initiative will Provide One-Stop for Campgrounds/Recreation Reservations

WASHINGTON, August 9, 2004 –- The United States Department of Agriculture today announced the award of a contract to provide a single, interagency federal recreation information and reservation service called the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS).

The three and a half-year, performance-based contract with a total potential value of $128 million was awarded to ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y. The contract provides for additional option periods for a total contract period not to exceed 10 years. The Forest Service conducted a full and open competition for the award of the new contract. The new contract will consolidate and expand the existing federal reservation services and agencies may add other sites that are currently individually reserved at the local level. It will begin operating in late 2004.

Fight Fat with Fun


Washington D.C. -- (July 29, 2004) White House Fellow Dr. Michael Suk and PricewaterhouseCoopers Executive Curt Cornelssen spoke to a room filled with Congressional staffers about the opportunities to Fight Fat with Fun™ - using recreation as a means to attack the surge in obesity. The statistics are daunting: 400,000 premature deaths annually; $100 billion in additional annual medical costs, much of which is paid by government programs; youths who prefer to be online rather than outdoors. Dr. Suk spoke of the great opportunities to reach millions through recreation on federally managed lands and waters, unveiling the new Get Fit With US! efforts of the federal agencies. Mr. Cornelssen shared case studies demonstrating that employers ranging from Caesar's to Union Pacific have found economic gain from attacking low levels of physical activity by their workforces. And Derrick Crandall of ARC outlined a range of actions that Congress might consider to encourage companies to take a more active role in boosting recreation participation - from loaner bikes to gifts of park passes to physically active weekend outings for employees' families.

Click Here to download Dr. Michael Suk's powerpoint presentation.

Click Here to view/download Curt Cornelssen's presentation.

Click Here to view/download Pricewaterhouse Coopers report, Recreation's Role in Combating Obesity

Click Here to view/download ARC's suggestions for boosting participation in recreation activies.