Outdoor News November 17, 2017 - Explore! Outdoor News November 17, 2017 - Explore!

Outdoor News November 17, 2017

Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation

After hearing support from both public and private, commercial and nonprofit, rural and urban organizations, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3350 on July 5, 2017. Governor Kate Brown signed it into law August 8, creating the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The department, guided by a seven member citizen commission, is Oregon’s leading advocate for outdoor recreation, and sends millions of dollars to Oregon communities every year for trails, outdoor play areas, water recreation, ATV riding areas, and parks of all sorts. It produces statewide plans that help land managers prioritize investments in outdoor recreation.

Crater Lake OregonThe agency is now recruiting for the position “Associate Director, Office of Outdoor Recreation.” The position will be chiefly concerned with building a collaboration among public, business, and nonprofit organizations to elevate and sustain outdoor recreation in every region of Oregon. This position will coordinate strategic action on state and national policy, legislation, and organizational goals that maximize the long-term benefits to the economy, personal well-being, and community livability of public outdoor recreation. The salary is $69,240.00 to $97,092.00 annually.

Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business or Public Administration, Behavioral or Social Sciences, Finance, Political Science or any degree demonstrating the capacity for the knowledge and skills; and at least five years professional-level evaluative, analytical and planning work experience in outdoor recreation-related field, or a combination of related education and professional experience in an outdoor recreation-related field totaling eight years.  Or, Any combination of experience and education equivalent to eight years of experience that typically supports the knowledge and skills for the classification.  Get all the details at the Oregon Job Opportunities website and get your application in before November 30 – the sooner the better!

Republican Senators Want More Wilderness

Tennessee is one step closer to protecting nearly 20,000 acres of public land in the Cherokee National Forest in the northeastern part of the state. A joint effort by Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker from Tennessee, and Pat Roberts of Kentucky, passed out of committee late last week and will move on for a full vote. Bill Hodge, executive director with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, explained the significance of protecting the land for future generations. 

Big Frog Mountain“What better thing than to know that our clean water starts in some of the most wild and preserved places,” Hodge said. “It gives us special places to recreate in, special places to reconnect with ourselves. It also provides incredibly important wildlife habitat, as well.”

If the land is declared federal wilderness, it will be protected from development, road creation and motorized vehicles in perpetuity. Supporters say along with the additional protections for land and wildlife, the designation is also a safeguard for the state’s outdoor recreation economy, which generates more than $21 billion annually in consumer spending.  The proposed areas are home to brook trout, white tailed deer, black bear, turkey and hundreds of additional species, said Hodge. 

“These areas protect some incredibly diverse places,” he said. “We have a variety of eco-zone types that these areas represent and are, frankly, some of the last for these incredibly rich and diverse ecosystems.”  The bill started out as the Tennessee Wilderness Act. It’s now part of the Federal Land Management Act of 2017, which will also impact land in Virginia and Maine. The Cherokee National Forest is already public land, but designating it as wilderness protects it from any changes made to federal lands based on policies in the current or future administrations.  [Photo By Kevin Eldon [CC BY 2.0]]  
                 •Stephanie Carson, Public News Service – TN •

Grants from Acres for America

On Wednesday, Acres for America, announced $3.8 million in grants to protect and connect wildlife habitat across more than 100,000 acres in California, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina and Texas. These grants will leverage an additional $81.2 million in matching contributions, pushing the total conservation investment to more than $85 million.

Acres for America was established by Walmart and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to conserve lands of national significance, protect critical fish and wildlife habitat, and benefit people and local economies.  Among the grants are some particularly beneficial for outdoor recreation: 

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Conservation of the Swift Creek-Stillwater Linkage Area of Montana
The Trust for Public Land will receive a $645,000 grant to acquire 13,398 acres of critical watershed and forestland in the Swift Creek – Stillwater Linkage Area of Montana. The project will prevent subdivision and development in the rapidly growing Flathead Valley, enhance landscape-scale connectivity for species such as grizzly bear, elk and bull trout, and ensure public recreational access.

Acquisition for Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Superior National Forest
The Conservation Fund will receive a $500,000 grant for Phase 1 of this project to serve as a key catalyst toward the ultimate goal of acquiring 50,000 acres of land within and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which spans one million acres within the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota. The grant will help protect habitat for moose, bald eagles, Canada lynx, spruce grouse, Connecticut warbler and boreal owl, among other species. This project will also enable up to an additional 50,000 acres of privately held land to be transferred to the State of Minnesota to provide wildlife habitat, recreational uses and sustainable timber production.

Blackwater River Land Protection in North Carolina 
The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy, as part of a regional partnership, will receive a $550,000 grant to purchase 5,200 acres of longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood forest habitat along the Waccamaw and Black rivers in eastern North Carolina. This effort will safeguard more than 11 miles of river, provide habitat for dozens of at-risk wildlife species, and create public access for hiking, hunting and boating. This grant will also secure the protection of a stand of 1,600-year-old bald cypress, the oldest known trees east of the Rocky Mountains.

New Lifestraw Filters

 Yesterday, LifeStraw®, a maker of filtration and purification products for safe drinking water, introduced its next generation Lifestraw Playof consumer water filtration products in time for the holidays. New products include: LifeStraw Play (pictured), the industry’s first and only two-stage filtration bottle for kids; LifeStraw Universal, an adapter kit fitting popular water bottle brands; and LifeStraw Flex, a versatile multi-use filter meeting the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF 53) standard for lead reduction. The expanded product line advances LifeStraw’s Follow the Liters humanitarian program, which will bring safe water to over one million children in developing countries. All new products are available at www.lifestraw.com and at retailers.

Businesses Support Monuments

Yesterday, nearly 600 rural businesses, aquariums, and chambers of commerce sent a letter to Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council, urging the Trump administration to help protect their bottom lines by maintaining boundaries and safeguards for America’s national monuments.  

Bears Ears National MonumentThe letter comes after the recent news that President Trump plans to shrink the Bears Ears (pictured) and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. The letter expresses “serious concerns” over the unprecedented assault on America’s public lands and waters. 

The chambers of commerce represent businesses including “mom and pop” shops across the country that would be negatively impacted should protections for nearby national monuments be weakened or removed.   This letter comes after 360 outdoor recreation businesses sent a separate letter to President Trump highlighting the economic benefits of national monuments to livelihoods and local communities.  Together, the signers represent a broad spectrum of businesses that rely on national monuments for their bottom line. 

The chambers of commerce, aquariums, and business owners are concerned that protections might be reduced not just for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, but for those named in a leaked report from Interior Secretary Zinke: Gold Butte (NV), Cascade-Siskiyou (OR), Río Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (NM), Katahdin Woods and Waters (ME), Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off the coast of New England, and the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. 

“As head of a chamber representing 49 businesses, I can tell you that since the protection of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, our local tourism industry in Escalante has grown and is thriving,” said Suzanne Catlett, Board President of the Escalante & Boulder Chamber of Commerce. “Thanks to our national monuments, people want to live here, and new home construction is at an all-time high. We have no doubt that Bears Ears National Monument will bring the same economic opportunities to the area. There is no doubt that shrinking these national monuments would harm our local businesses.” 

Outdoor Capital of Colorado

Visit Grand Junction announced on Wednesday that it is a recipient of a Colorado Tourism Office Marketing Matching Grant for 2018.  In true collaborative spirit, this grant is in equal partnership between Visit Grand Junction, the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission and Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP). Each agency is contributing $8334 to match the grant funding of $25,000, creating a new $50,000 marketing campaign focused on outdoor recreation marketing opportunities for the Grand Valley. 

This new campaign is designed as a collaboration to increase awareness and perception of the Grand Valley as the Outdoor Capital of Colorado, attracting outdoor-oriented businesses, tourists and athletes from around the world. This campaign incorporates tourism, economic development, and event organization targeting the new Outdoor Retailer Markets in January and July 2018.

 “It is thrilling to think of the possibilities and impact that we can collectively make for our community by working together toward the common goal to elevate our area as a sought-after destination to the outdoor industry,” stated Mistalynn Meyeraan of Visit Grand Junction. “This is a ground-breaking concept to combine tourism, economic development and sports marketing in one campaign and it is an incredible honor to have support for our marketing vision from the Colorado Tourism Office.”

Grand Junction is one of 28 not-for-profit associations and governmental organizations from across the state who were awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, totaling nearly $600,000, for the purpose of enhancing marketing efforts to attract visitors. This year’s annual competitive grant received more than 50 applications totaling more than,$1.1 million requested. 

This grant proposal focuses on achieving the following overarching goal: to develop an awareness and,perception of Colorado’s Grand Valley as the,Outdoor Capital of Colorado.

“Colorado’s Grand Valley has a tremendous offer in terms of outdoor recreation,” said Cilia Kohn, GJEP., “We’ve got winter sports, water sports, mountain biking, road biking, hunting, fishing, golfing, rock,climbing. The list is near-endless and thanks to our climate and geography, you can do almost all of these activities year-round. This is a unique proposition to the Grand Valley and we are beyond excited to be able to share it with visitors and future residents alike through this collaborative effort.”

Grand Junction, Colorado
[ Grand Junction Skyline photo by Eleaf (Own work) (CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL)]


 Children & Nature Summit 

Children & Nature LogoIf increasing nature access for children is important to you and your work, then apply today for a place at C&NN’s International Leadership Summit. The Summit, to be held from May 21-22, 2018 in Oakland, California, will convene a group of approximately 400 changemakers, thoughtfully selected by invitation and application, to represent the diverse points-of-view, people and disciplines of the children and nature movement.

If you believe you would be a strong collaborator on one of the Action Area teams (Next Generation Leadership, Healthcare, Green Schoolyards, Nature-Based Learning Research, City Government & Grassroots Leadership) then we encourage you to apply for a spot at the Summit. Many of the six Action Areas teams are already filling up! 

To learn more about the Summit, including more details about the Action Areas, please visit the Children & Nature website


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Video of the Week

The Tennessee Wilderness Act includes some additions to the Big Frog Wilderness on the Cherokee National Forest.  In this week’s video, Evan takes us on a three-day backpacking trip as he explores the Wilderness.  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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