Outdoor News January 19, 2018 - Explore! Outdoor News January 19, 2018 - Explore!

Outdoor News January 19, 2018

Natural Resources Support South Carolina

Clemson professors Thomas Straka and David Willis concluded that natural resource-based sectors contribute $33.4 billion in economic activity annually to both Carolina's economy and are responsible for 218,719 jobs.

South Carolina CoastThe study for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), found the collective economic contribution of South Carolina’s natural resource-based sectors has grown by 15 percent over the last seven years relative to a similar 2009 study.  The study also argues the estimated impact is conservative because, despite the significant economic contribution of six natural resource-based sectors — fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing, coastal tourism, commercial fisheries, boat industry, mining and forestry — on the South Carolina economy, the value of the state’s water resources is not directly included in the analysis.

“To start with, without natural resources there wouldn’t be any state economy because that comes down to the fundamentals of water and land and (other) resources such as that. We didn’t even take it that far, but if you wanted to go to extremes, it’s the basis of the entire state economy.  If you want to put it in context, it’s as big as any of the other manufacturing sectors, and the state should understand that it’s comparable to other manufacturing sectors in terms of its contribution,” Straka said.

As defined by the study, the six natural resource sectors are responsible for 8.3 percent of the gross state product and 8.6 percent of all jobs in the state. Direct employment in the six natural resource sectors is 130,891 jobs at an average salary of $35,959. After accounting for the multiplier effect, the sectors contribute 218,719 jobs to the state economy at an average salary of $39,337.

“South Carolina’s natural resources are our most valuable economic asset,” said Alvin Taylor, director of SCDNR. “Natural resources are the major contributor to our quality of life, which is why corporations want to locate here, why people want to move here and it is why people want to stay here.”

Native Americans to Discuss Public Lands

While the struggle over the preservation of Bears Ears National Monument and other wild places continues, a coalition of Native American recreation enthusiasts has a unique message about how to protect public lands. The group will discuss their vision during a panel at the Outdoor Retailer Show on January 27 in Denver. As the massive trade show relocates from Salt Lake City to Denver this winter over Utah government officials’ lack of support for public lands preservation, the message from this rare gathering of Native American activists is especially relevant.

The panel, “Indigenous Connections: Re-envisioning Recreation and Public Lands Preservation to Incorporate First Nation Values and Traditions,” seeks to inspire the outdoor industry to see things from a Native American perspective. Goals of the panel include exploring how the outdoor industry can effectively partner with indigenous people for the purposes of public lands conservation, and building a more racially and culturally diverse population of outdoor recreation participants.

Kinishba RuinsAccording to Len Necefer, PhD, a Navajo tribal member and founder of the Denver-based gear company Natives Outdoors, “Combining forces between indigenous tribes and the outdoor industry is the strongest potential partnership we have to protect public lands, revitalize the health and cultures of native peoples, and address barriers to outdoor access for all communities.”

In addition to Necefer, other panelists include:

  • Jaylyn Gough: A Navajo Nation member, avid outdoors woman and founder of the group Native Women’s Wilderness. She is based in Boulder.
  • Aaron Mike: A member of the Navajo Nation who is based in Flagstaff, AZ, founder of Pangea Mountain Guides and an Access Fund Board member.
  • Jolie Varela:  Member of the Paiute and Tule River Yokut tribes and founder of Indigenous Women Hike. Jolie will be hiking the John Muir Trail in 2018 as a way to point out that it is actually an ancestral trade route of the Paiute. She is based in Bishop, CA.

The panel will be moderated by Annette McGivney, Backpacker magazine Southwest Editor and author of the new book Pure Land, which explores Native American history in the Western United States and indigenous relationships to nature.

Since the outdoor industry profits from recreation on lands that are the ancestral home of Native tribes, some issues to be addressed by the panel are potentially controversial. These include: What are the barriers and benefits to encouraging non-Native recreationists to embrace a more Native view of nature that approaches wild places as a spiritual and cultural sanctuary rather than a weekend playground? And should some spots on public lands that are sacred to indigenous peoples—such as the San Francisco Peaks, Devil’s Tower, and Bears Ears—have public recreation restricted out of respect for Native traditional practices and uses?

The panel will take place at Outdoor Retailer on Sat. Jan. 27 at 10 a.m.; location The Camp (booth 56117 UL).


Sonoran Desert Outdoor Guide

Visit Mesa Adventure Explorer GuideThe brand-new Adventure Explorer Guide published by Visit Mesa is available now for residents and visitors wanting to know more about the Sonoran Desert surrounding Arizona’s third largest city and the many ways to get outside and enjoy the area when visiting the Southwest. 

This guide is focused solely on desert exploration produced by Mesa’s destination marketing organization who created the piece in response to visitor demand. The pocket guide outlines numerous ways to discover the unique and exotic terrain on display in the Sonoran Desert which is located in two states, Arizona and California, as well as parts of Mexico.  

Laid out in themed sections, the guide features detailed information on trails, Sonoran Desert statistics, water recreation, night skies, camping, a field guide, and photo directory to desert wildlife, birding, and desert vegetation, as well as a complete attractions and outfitters listing.

The guide features an outdoor adventure map paired with a Before-You-Go list of safety tips that will prepare guests for accessing the Sonoran Desert. The Treasured Trails section highlights 15 different trails ranging in level of difficulty that can be found within city limits and throughout the adjacent Tonto National Forest, which includes the Four Peaks and Superstition Wilderness areas. The guide also highlights the historic Apache Trail, located east of Mesa, and outlines the attractions that make up this scenic byway that gains access to two lakes. The complimentary Adventure Explorer Guide is available at the Mesa Visitors Center located at 120 N. Center and available for download at www.visitmesa.com/lifestyles/adventure-explorer.

Park Advisory Board Resigns

On Monday, nine members of the National Park System Advisory Board resigned.  This is the letter tendering the resignations:

Advisory Board LogoTo: Secretary Ryan Zinke January 15, 2018 Department of Interior

From: Tony Knowles
Chair of the NPSAB 2010-2017 Governor of Alaska 1994-2002

I am submitting my resignation as Chair and member of the National Park System Advisory Board. It has been an honor and privilege to serve on this Board for the last seven years with remarkable individuals who have committed their time and talent to ensure the stewardship our National Parks and prepare them for the enjoyment of future generations. We worked closely and productively through 2016 with dedicated National Park Service employees, an inspiring Director and a fully supportive Department. We engaged over a hundred volunteer national experts in education, science, history and anthropology, and park management and planning to help design the right path to meet the challenges and changes for the second century of our National Parks. We emphasized scientific research and mitigation of climate change; engaging young generations; evolving a more diverse culture of park visitors, advocates and employees; bringing our schools to our parks and our parks to our schools; stressing park urbanization; protecting the natural diversity of wildlife; and so much more.

These are the matters on which the Board wanted to brief you and your staff. We also wanted to present evidence of the overwhelming support and participation all across America for the National Park System and this agenda during the 2016 NPS centennial celebration.

For the last year we have stood by waiting for the chance to meet and continue the partnership between the NPSAB and the DOI as prescribed by law. We understand the complexity of transition but our requests to engage have been ignored and the matters on which we wanted to brief the new Department team are clearly not part of its agenda. I wish the National Park System and Service well and will always be dedicated to their success. However, from all of the events of this past year I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside. I hope that future actions of the Department of Interior demonstrate that this is not the case.

The following National Park System Advisory Board member share the thoughts stated above and join me in tendering their resignations.

Gretchen Long, Paul Bardacke, Carolyn Finney, Judy Burke, Stephen Pitti, Milton Chen, Belinda Faustinos, Margaret Wheatley 

On Wednesday a tenth member, Carolyn Hessler Radelet, tendered her resignation with the same letter.  Apparently that leaves only Linda Bilmes and Rita Colwell to serve on the board.

Montana to Strengthen State Parks

Last Friday, Governor Steve Bullock of Montana announced steps to strengthen Montana’s state park system with the state's Parks in Focus Commission.  The goal is to ensure the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks has the resources, capacity, and expertise to implement the Montana State Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan.

Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, Montana“Montana’s state parks are among our state’s greatest assets, offering not just windows into our past, but unparalleled opportunities to support community-based outdoor recreation, destination tourism, and vibrant main street economies across our state,” the Governor said. “Parks in Focus will bring the talent, the research and the energy needed to confront the challenges facing our state parks and ensure their cultural and natural heritage remains an asset for all current and future Montanans.”

Governor Bullock signed an Executive Order chartering the Montana Parks in Focus Commission as a public-private collaboration. The purpose of the Parks in Focus Commission is to provide expert, independent recommendations for the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks on effective ways to implement the Montana State Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan. The principle focus will be on implementation of the three recommendations from that plan: developing diversified revenue streams, growing strategic partnerships, and building an engaged constituency for state parks.

"The Montana State Parks and Recreation Board looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the Parks in Focus Commission to advance our shared goals for implementation of the State Parks strategic plan," said Angie Grove, Chair of the State Parks and Recreation Board. "I am excited to be a part of this effort and look forward to working collaboratively to help grow and sustain support for our state parks."

The Parks in Focus Commission consists of 12 volunteer professionals. It will operate in a collaborative, transparent manner and will be active for a term of at least 12 months, holding four public meetings around the state to discuss leading issues, gather robust public input and ideas, and develop a framework for making recommendations in a final report.

Members are:

  • Stace Lindsay (Chair), President of Fusion Venture Partners
  • Mark Aagenes, Director of External Affairs for The Nature Conservancy Montana
  • Lise Aangeenbrug, Executive Director for The Outdoor Foundation
  • Dr. Shane Doyle, educator and cultural consultant
  • Dave Galt, government affairs with the law firm Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven
  • Angie Grove, owner (with her husband) of Great Divide Cyclery
  • Norma Nickerson, Director of the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana
  • Michael Punke, writer and Vice President of Global Public Policy for Amazon Web Services
  • Lance Trebesch, CEO/Co-Owner of TicketPrinting.com and Ticket River
  • Chas Vincent, Montana State Senator
  • Jeff Welch, founder of three companies specializing in tourism and outdoor recreation
  • Dr. Aaron Wernham, family physician and CEO of the Montana Healthcare Foundation

The Commission will be coordinated by two advisors, Deb Love and Ben Alexander of Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), Montana’s private partner with the effort. They will work closely with the Governor’s Office, Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks leadership and staff, the Montana State Parks and Recreation Board, and the Montana State Parks Foundation. The advisors will provide day-to-day support for the Commission and its activities. This will include preparing for Commission meetings, conducting or overseeing needed research, facilitating public engagement, managing work groups on delegated topics, and building a supporting coalition

Special Savings for Our Readers 

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Video of the Week

The National Park Service recently made a 360 Degree Tour of Crater Lake National Park available. The unique video highlights several features of the Park while giving you the ability to check out the full 360 degree view by dragging on the video as it plays.  The video is narrated by country singer Dierks Bentley.  Enjoy!

This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
Global Creations EXPLORE!  The eMagazine for Adventure and Exploration

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