Senate Confirmation Hearings Begin for NPS Director Nominee Jon Jarvis

Senate confirmation hearings for National Park Service Director nominee Jon Jarvis began on July 28. Mr. Jarvis was questioned on a wide variety of issues that he will likely face as NPS Director, including snowmobiles in Yellowstone, helicopters over Crater Lake and guns in the national parks. ARC will continue to continue to post updates on the progress of Mr. Jarvis' nomination.

To read Mr. Jarvis' July 28 statement to the U. S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, click here.

Below is the text from the New York Times article covering the hearing:

GO-Day 2009

To combat the threats posed by today’s indoor, inactive lifestyles – such as the growing obesity epidemic and the projection that today’s kids will live shorter lives than their parents due to lifestyle choices – several hundred local, state and federal agencies, diverse nonprofit organizations in the health and youth-services fields, the recreation community and media interests teamed up to host the second annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO-Day) on June 13, 2009. The national effort was again led by the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), but the number and diversity of the organizations involved nationally and locally increased sharply. Uniting these partners was a shared belief in the Mission of National Get Outdoors Day:

Unify public and private-sector interests in efforts to influence American lifestyles, especially among youth, in ways that maximize the physical, mental and other benefits derived from activities in the Great Outdoors through a focused effort to invite Americans to designated sites on a single day, as well as to highlight and assist the efforts of National Get Outdoors Day partners year-round.

GO-Day 2009 was built around offering opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities, regardless of past experience, skills or ownership of equipment. Those Americans currently underserved by visits to public lands and waters and youth – especially urban youth – were priority targets for the events. GO-Day organizers accepted a challenge: making the appeal of the great outdoors equal that of shopping malls and video games. And they met this challenge with exceptional results.

President champions need to connect America’s children to their public lands

President Barack Obama spoke passionately about the importance of connecting America’s children to their public lands during his address at the 160th Anniversary of the Department of the Interior on March 3. The President told the group that America’s long-term prosperity depends upon the faithful stewardship of our natural resources, but that this trust cannot be measured in protected acres, preserved rivers or energy reserves.

“It's a child wandering amidst ancient redwoods, a love for science stirred as she looks skyward. It's a young man running his hand along the walls at Ellis Island, where his grandmother once carried her every possession and the hope of a new life. It's a family hiking along canyons carved by ancient floods, or mountains shaped by shifting continents -- finding peace in the beauty of the natural world. These are experiences that enrich our lives and remind us of the blessings that we share.”

The President fondly recounted memories of his own transformational childhood vacation to see America’s flagship national parks with his family. He described seeing our nation’s natural wonders as “an experience I will never forget. It's an experience I want for my daughters, and for all of our daughters and sons, to see the incredible beauty of this nation.”

To read a transcript or watch a video clip of the President’s moving speech, click here.

National Get Outdoors Day 2009 Plans Announced

Washington, D.C. (January 15, 2009) A consortium of federal agencies and nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry today announced details for National Get Outdoors Day 2009, an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun across the nation. On June 13, 2009, participating organizations will offer sites for American families to sample both traditional and new types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors, and then invite those taking part in the day to visit specific sites for fun “EChO-Events” for opportunities to hike with rangers, learn to fish, and go mountain biking.

In June 2008, more than 60 National Get Outdoors Day events were held, drawing tens of thousands of youth and their families. The events included climbing walls, chances to have pictures taken with Smokey Bear, introductions to fishing and new activities like geocaching and much more.

Partners Outdoors 2009 Meeting Materials

For the first time, all Partners Outdoors materials are available electronically as part of an effort to be more environmentally friendly. By eliminating our traditional meeting books, we will save multiple thousands of sheets of paper. Each meeting participant will instead receive a Partners Outdoors 2009 flash drive or CD pre-loaded with the following meeting materials.

Making Great Outdoors Month Bigger and Better

Reaching Special Publics – Youth, Seniors, People with Disabilities (including wounded military), and New Citizens

Redesigning the Toolbox for Tomorrow (visit the Toolbox at www.tools4outdoors.us)

Background Readings and Information

Federal Information

ARC President offers weekly insights on how transition activities relate to recreation

Now that the excitement of the election season is complete, it is time to focus on the consequent changes in Washington and the implications of those changes for recreation. In his weekly “Monday Morning Washington Updates,” American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President Derrick Crandall shares news and analysis with ARC members and friends on Capitol Hill changes, Transition team activities, the emerging Obama team, special opportunities for advancing recreation, and other factors likely to influence recreation starting in 2009.

Elections 2008 Report #1 -- November 5

Elections 2008 Report #2 -- November 10

Elections 2008 Report #3 -- November 17

Elections 2008 Report #4 -- November 24

Elections 2008 Report #5 -- December 1

Elections 2008 Report #6 -- December 9

Elections 2008 Report #7 -- December 17

Elections 2008 Report #8 -- January 12

Comments on these weekly updates are welcomed and can be submitted to Mindy Meade at mmeade@funoutdoors.com.

Great Outdoors Week 2008

Washington, D.C. – Hundreds of recreation industry leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to participate in meetings, events and celebrations of the significant contributions of the recreation community during Great Outdoors Week (June 9-14). This year’s theme, A Celebration of Partners Working to Keep the Outdoors in America’s Tomorrow, was designed to: increase the visibility of outdoor recreation on the national policy-making level; heighten the understanding and appreciation of recreation’s importance to the nation’s health, economy and quality of life; provide an opportunity to highlight key recreation policy initiatives and programs; and recognize outstanding leadership on behalf of outdoor recreation.

Children and nature, recreation and the 2008 elections, achievements of the Recreational Trails Program, the first National Get Outdoors Day, and more were addressed in productive gatherings throughout the week. Awards honoring the outstanding efforts and contributions of exemplary federal agency employees and recreation community leaders also contributed to the Week’s excitement.

Beacon Awards

NPS Deputy Director Lindi Harvey presents the Beacon Award to David Restivo and Bill Hayden of Glacier National Park

Beacon Awards

Joel Holtrop of the U.S. Forest Service accepts the Beacon Award on behalf of Don Virgovic, National NatureWatch Program Leader.

DAC centennial rollout