Outdoor News July 21, 2017 | Explore! Outdoor News July 21, 2017 - Explore!

Outdoor News July 21, 2017

Interior Supports Outdoor Recreation

On Monday, U. S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued the following statement:

This week, President Trump kicked off “Made in America Week.” At the Department of the Interior, we are taking this opportunity to promote and strengthen America’s tradition of outdoor recreation on public lands. The all-American outdoor experience was the idea of visionaries like President Theodore Roosevelt, and has been carried on by the federal government and Congress for years. It could not have been possible without help from philanthropic foundations, American businesses, and thousands of public-private partnerships across our public lands.

Zinke in UtahWe already have thousands of partners across the country who fund and assist with visitor services, infrastructure, and even land acquisition for increased public access.To highlight and expand on Made in America partnerships and products, this week Interior is hosting a roundtable with outdoor recreation industry leaders to brainstorm innovative ideas for how we can work together to build upon the outdoor experience on public lands. Some ideas I’ve already heard are for outdoor recreation outfitters to make investments in our public lands for things like energy-efficient cabins and fishing access points.

The Department is focused on identifying and expanding the best existing services, and bringing in new services to parks and recreation areas to preserve and enhance the American outdoor experience.

The All-American Outdoor Experience is part of who we are as Americans, but it’s also a big economic driver for communities across the country. As a whole, the outdoor recreation industry generates $887 billion in consumer spending and supports 7.6 million American jobs, according to industry analysts. In addition, the revenue the industry produces is a major boost to our economy.

Made in America is as much about products as much as it is about the shared American experience created here. It is about making memories by taking a kid fishing for the first time, or in my case, taking my wife hiking early in our relationship.

There’s a reason why 330 million people from across the country and around the world visit our parks every year, and why millions more flock to public lands from coast to coast: It’s because these spaces are uniquely American.

This Made in America Week, let’s unite with a common pride in our country, standing behind American businesses and engaging in American outdoor traditions that have stood the test of time.

The above USDI photo shows Zinke in Utah, May 17, where he was reviewing National Monuments to see if he would recommend reducing their size or eliminating them.

Low Income Families Avoid Rec Fees

A study by the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University found that people with a a family income of less than $25,000 would travel three times farther to avoid a $3 fee for access to a recreation site.  They found that only income (not race, ethnicity or type of recreation) played a part in this decision.

The University explained the potential effects . . . 

Forest Service Photo Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF“The majority of recreation areas in the Central Wasatch Mountains don’t require a fee. But that may change. As the burgeoning population around nearby Salt Lake City expands, so does demand on recreation sites. The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is considering a $6 per-vehicle fee to access areas that have up to know been free of charge.

“Charging fees for access to recreation on public lands makes sense on many levels, researcher Chase Lamborn said. Extra cash helps land management agencies maintain natural areas with direct help from the people who use them. It helps sites be less vulnerable to the whims of federal and state budget allocations. Fees can even be used as a tool to constrict the number of people flocking to overused areas. But for many people, it feels philosophically wrong. Some recreation planners believe the benefits you get from fees are irrelevant because public lands should be public . . .open to all members of a community, not just those who can afford it. And that on-site fees are actually demanding double payment for a single service (after personal income tax).

“Both sides are right, which makes it such a sticky scenario for land managers to negotiate. Since user fees are actually under consideration at these sites, managers should expect a shift in the socioeconomic composition of visitors and should anticipate displacement and increased use at nearby non-fee settings, according to Lamborn. They should work to ensure that displacement does not become exclusion. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees.”

The Economics of Outdoor Recreation

July 17, 2017 HARRISBURG, Pa. (Andrea Sears, Public News Service) – Congressional Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee released a state-by-state fact sheet on the economic impact of public lands.  It shows that in Pennsylvania, for example, has 19 national parks that attract 11 million visitors a year, increasing the state’s economic output by almost $750 million. 

Gettysburg NPJoe Demalderis, owner of Cross Current Guide Service, in Starlight, Pennsylvania, says that’s a lifeline in some rural parts of the state. “The land is valuable for the local economies because of the tourism it develops, and it’s in areas where there really isn’t much else for the local people, for their economy,” he points out.  Overall, outdoor recreation generated more than $21 billion in consumer spending in Pennsylvania in 2012.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, the ranking Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee, notes that, in his home state of New Mexico, two areas designated as national monuments may be threatened by reduction or elimination.  “We have seen tourism go up, we’ve seen visitation go up, we’ve seen local gross receipts and lodgers’ taxes and business development because of these monuments,” he points out. “So to turn that back would be an enormous mistake.”

Demalderis says protecting areas such as the 35 miles of river in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area means more than figures on a ledger sheet.  “People who live in metropolitan areas have places they can go and decompress, and go back to their everyday life and be more productive at what they do,” he states.

National Parks in Namibia

Namibia High Commission, London, has made available a series of brochures and fact sheets about the country’s National Parks.  They address the following parks:

  • Etosha NP Namibia/Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
  • Bwabwata National Park
  • Cape Cross Seal Reserve
  • Etosha National Park
  • Khaudum National Park
  • Mamili (Nkasa Lupala) National Park
  • Mudumunamibia National Park
  • Namib-Naukluft Park
  • Skeleton Coast Park

You can get all the information at the Namibia High Commission website: www.namibiahc.org.uk/national-parks.php
 

March for Public Lands

This Land is Your Land March for Public LandsOn Tuesday, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), The Conservation Alliance and Outdoor Alliance announced the speaker lineup for the This Land Is Our Land March for Public Lands on July 27 at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. The This Land Is Our Land March is a celebration of public lands across America, the foundation and bedrock of the outdoor industry.

The outdoor industry and others interested from the community will march from the Salt Palace Convention Center to the Utah State Capitol beginning at 4:30 p.m. At the Capitol at approximately 5:30 p.m., industry leaders and experts will hold a 45-minute rally to raise issues to spark further public lands discussion and action.

The purpose of the march is to

  • Celebrate America’s bipartisan love for getting outside on public lands.
  • Highlight the national and the Utah outdoor recreation economies. OIA will release new industry economic impact information, industry jobs numbers and taxes contributed by outdoor recreation during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Outdoor recreation contributes $887 billion annually to the U.S. economy and supports 7.6 million jobs. Come to the march to hear the economic numbers specific to Utah.
  • Thank Salt Lake City for hosting Outdoor Retailer for more than 20 years with a special Utah-specific Parks4Kids grant through The Outdoor Foundation.

The speaker lineup includes

 Amy Roberts, Adam Cramer and John Sterling, executive directors of OIA, Outdoor Alliance and The Conservation Alliance, respectively. Each leader will speak about the importance of public lands to their membership and stakeholders.

Shaun Chapoose, chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe business committee and founding member of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, will reflect on the importance of the Native American perspective on our public lands.

Casey Sheahan, president of KEEN, an outdoor footwear brand known for living by its values, from its products to its actions, and for activating communities and individuals to protect and preserve the places where we work and play.

Blake Spalding, owner of the acclaimed Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah, will express the importance of public lands to her successful business that serves the community and visitors of Grand Staircase Escalante Monument.

Conrad Anker, professional climber and captain of The North Face global athlete team, will comment as a long-time advocate for public lands and conservation on both local and national levels.

Mayor Ben McAdams (Salt Lake County) and Mayor Jackie Biskupski (Salt Lake City) will provide local political perspective on Utah’s abundant public lands.

“This strong roster of speakers demonstrates the strong beliefs and conviction that the outdoor industry has around protecting our public lands,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. We look forward to walking side by side with the industry and the Salt Lake City community to celebrate public lands.”

As a thank-you to the state of Utah, the industry will present Mayor McAdams and Mayor Biskupski a grant that will provide funding to get Utah elementary students outside to experience Utah’s public lands through the Parks4Kids Utah program. For the last 20 years, the Salt Lake City, Utah, community has welcomed the outdoor industry to conduct business in and around the Outdoor Retailer winter and summer markets. This program provides a way to continue investing in the state of Utah, public lands and outdoor recreation.

To join the This Land Is Our Land March and add your voice to the conversation, click here to RSVP to the Facebook invite and use #MarchForPublicLands and #KeepPublicLandsPublic to continue the conversation on social media. March attendees are encouraged to read the This Land Is Our Land March for Public Lands Code of Conduct and these tips prior to attending the march.

 

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Video of the Week

Michael Sibalatani, Chief Control Warden at Etosha National Park in Namibia, says, “Etosha is magical. From sunrise to long past sunset, the plains and waterholes are places of wonder, drama and diversity. You shouldn’t miss it!”  What might you see there?  You’ll find the answer in this week’s video.  It features both the animals of the park and the available accommodations.  Enjoy!

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