Outdoor News August 31, 2018 - Explore! Outdoor News August 31, 2018 - Explore!

Outdoor News August 31, 2018

IMBA Trail Grants

On Tuesday, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) announced awards in its first round of Trail Accelerator grants to three recipients. IMBA’s Trail Accelerator grant fund is a competitive grant offering for communities with visions for model trail systems that need extra support to realize that vision of more trails close to home. Awardees provide matching funds and receive professional trail planning and consultation services from IMBA Trail Solutions to launch trail development efforts, which can often help leverage more interest and investment for community trail projects.

IMBA Logo“Communities all over the country have opportunities for great trails but, often, a trail project needs an initial boost to get started,” said Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director. “Catalyzing more trails in more communities is critical to our mission. Together we can accelerate so many trail projects, bringing us closer to our vision of everyone across the country having access to great trails.”

All three projects have the potential to transform nearby communities through trails, leading to increased local access and offering health benefits to residents, while having opportunities to expand into larger, destination-worthy trail systems.

Mountain Creek Park in Hixon, Tennessee — Mountain Creek Park will provide the first downhill trails in the Chattanooga region, offering new opportunities for local and regional riders. It will also become the first local recreation area to offer both mountain biking and climbing. The project is a collaboration among six recreation and conservation groups including SORBA-Chattanooga, the local mountain bike organization, that aims to increase access to the outdoors for the nearby Red Bank school system and surrounding low- and middle-income communities. The North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy has received $12,500 for an initial 10-mile trail plan.

De Queen Lake Trails in De Queen, Arkansas — De Queen Lake has 32 miles of shoreline, more than 100 campsites, 8700 acres of surrounding land and the vision to become a mountain bike destination. The community will soon have its first three-mile trail at the lake, and wants to follow that with a plan for more. The organizations involved, including the Army Corps of Engineers, see the trails as a way to address the region’s obesity challenge, as well as a venue to welcome De Queen’s minority population to mountain biking. Legacy Initiatives has received $18,000 for a community-wide assessment.

Grandma’s Gateway in La Crosse, Wisconsin — This project will turn an iconic regional landscape with no formal trail access into a community trail system, ripe with opportunities to connect to several nearby public lands. Developing Grandad Bluff Park into a multi-use trail system will provide neighborhood access, alleviate pedestrian road traffic and help clear out litter and invasive species. The closest school to new trailheads is a quarter-mile away. Outdoor Recreation Alliance of the 7 Rivers Region has received $15,000 for a trail concept plan.

IMBA thanked the Walton Family Foundation for underwriting the program and REI for its support. Look for dates on the next application period for Trail Accelerator grants later this fall. Learn more about criteria and eligibility for the grants on the grant webpage.

Tariffs and the Outdoor Industry

President Trump has proposed adding an additional 10 to 25 percent tariff on imports from China, including certain outdoor products, in response to China’s intellectual property practices and forced technology transfers. These additional taxes on backpacks, sports bags, kayaks, leather ski gloves, headwear, camp chairs and other products could significantly raise costs for outdoor companies and consumers, impede job growth and innovation and prevent more Americans from enjoying the outdoors. What is the impact on your business and how should your business respond?

TaxA webinar on September 13 will try to answer that question.  Speakers are Rich Harper, Manager of International Trade, for the Outdoor Industry Association and Ron Sorini, Partner, Sorini Samet and Associates.  Expect to learn:

  • Why the administration is proposing additional tariffs on products from China
  • The outdoor products that could be impacted
  • When the tariffs could go into effect
  • How China has responded with its own tariffs on U.S. products
  • Other outdoor products that could be impacted if the trade war escalates further
  • How you can help OIA exempt outdoor products from these tariffs and future tariffs

Register at http://oia.outdoorindustry.org/l/51282/2018-08-22/9zrkg8

Rocks Close Zion Trail

Hidden Canyon TrailA rockfall came down on Hidden Canyon Trail in Zion National Park on Tuesday. Nine visitors were temporarily trapped behind the rockfall. No one was injured. Zion’s Search and Rescue team, along with the help of the Grand Canyon helicopter crew, shorthauled the nine visitors safely out of canyon.

Hidden Canyon Trail will remain closed for at least a week while staff monitor the area for additional slides.  A crew from Utah Geological Survey (see photo) was on site to evaluate the situation.

Due to damage from a July 11th storm, the following trails are closed until further notice: lower West Rim Trail including Angels Landing, Kayenta Trail, and Upper Emerald Pools Trail.

Weeping Rock, East Rim Trail, Observation Point Trail, Cable Mountain Trail and Deer Trap are still open.

Enhancing the Antiquities Act

August 27, 2018. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s U.S. senators, two of its three U.S. representatives, plus tribal, conservation and community leaders have gotten behind a bill that would strengthen the Antiquities Act of 1906.

The enhanced Antiquities Act of 2018 would declare congressional support for monuments established by presidents of both parties since 1996. Specifically, it would prohibit any of the nation’s 51 national monuments from being reduced in size without an act of Congress, and also provide resources for managing newly established monuments.

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. BLM PhotoSusan Torres with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation said the current administration has demonstrated it is not friendly to public lands, and that’s why the legislation is needed.

“So much of the bill focuses on cultural preservation and working with the inter-tribal coalitions to make sure that the sacred sites are protected,” Torres said.

Pressure on Congress to strengthen the original Antiquities Act began building after President Donald Trump signed executive orders in 2017 that eliminated more than 2 million acres from two national monuments in Utah. The executive orders would open both monuments to extractive industries.  The Trump administration has argued that monument designations currently include more land than is needed.

The 2018 Antiquities Act would require that monuments receive protections to ensure that no new extraction claims and grazing allotments be allowed, while honoring existing claims in those areas. Torres said without improvements to the century-old law, New Mexico’s monuments will remain vulnerable.

“Ever since the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte (pictured) were designated as monuments, tourism has gone up in those areas,” she said. “So all of those monument designations have been huge for those local communities.”

Organ Mountains and Rio Grande del Norte have so far escaped any reduction in size since the administration’s review of monuments. Torres said outdoor recreation generates nearly $10 billion a year in the state and is directly responsible for almost 100,000 jobs.

Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM

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Video of the Week

This week’s video features Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico.   When the video was created in 2012, Congress was considering designating it a National Conservation Area. Now,  it is a National Monument created under the Antiquities Act of 1906.  Enjoy!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj7iHTMa4ac


 

This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
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