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John Stewart

Economic Snapshot of Outdoor Recreation Released

The study marks the first time the non-motorized and motorized recreation industries have joined forces to provide a complete picture of the economic impact and importance of outdoor recreation for the economy.

A copy is available from the Western Governors Association

 

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John Stewart

VA Primary Important to Off-Road Recreationists

During that same time-period, then Governor Tim Kaine filed a petition with the federal government for them to set aside almost 25% of scarce multiple-use Forest Service lands as “Clinton-era Roadless Areas” on 400,000 acres in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Don Amador, Founder of The Trail PAC, states, “Off-roaders will continue to support the George Allen for Senate campaign in this election as one of our key targeted senate races.  Allen will need our support because the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has targeted him for defeat.  As you know, LCV has a voting review committee comprised of hard-core anti-OHV groups including the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund and The Wilderness Society.”

“TPAC believes this election is critical for trail voters and is committed to helping ensure the trail community is effectively engaged and represented in the election process,” Amador concludes.


# # #
The Trail Political Action Committee (TPAC) was founded as the first national non-partisan political action committee dedicated solely to championing responsible off-highway vehicle recreation on designated roads, trails, and areas on public lands through the electoral and legislative processes.
www.thetrailpac.com

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John Stewart

Governors Look to Boost Western Recreation, Tourism Economies

  • The West's Competitive Advantage: Landscapes, Open Lands and Unique History
  • Connecting Kids and Families to the West's Great Outdoors
  • Managing the Region's Recreation Assets

"I launched the Get Out West! initiative when I became Chair of Western Governors' Association last year as a means  to both examine and celebrate outdoor recreation and tourism across the West,"  Gregoire said.   "I want to thank all those who contributed so much time and effort in their research and in developing these reports."

The Advisory Group's main conclusion is that for the West to remain the best place for outdoor recreation and tourism, the Governors should embrace policies that facilitate the growth of these industries and maintain and improve the lands and waters, trails and other infrastructure that make the West a great place to visit and play.

"Western Governors thank the Advisory Committee members for their hard work. Each of us will examine these recommendations to see how we can put them to use in our states," said Gov. Gary Herbert (Utah), WGA Vice Chairman.

Western Governors have already taken action on a number of the recommendations from the Advisory Group:

  • In December 2011, the Governors adopted a resolution encouraging the federal government to streamline and improve the tourist visa application experience and wait time for approval to visit the U.S.  They also adopted a resolution encouraging the use of the conservation corps to do construction and maintenance of recreation assets on public lands.
  • Yesterday Western Governors and the outdoor recreation industry released a joint report,  A Snapshot of the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation, which found the economic contribution of outdoor recreation in the nation in 2011 was $645.6 billion of which $255.6 billion was in Western states.

Today the Governors launched a pilot program in several Western states for a Youth Outdoor Recreation Outreach Coordinator (YOuROC).

In the fall of 2012 and early 2013, WGA and its recreation industry partners plan to announce economic information on a state-by-state basis.

Get Out West! Advisory Group:

Lise Aangeenbrug, Executive Director, Great Outdoors ColoradoJohn Binkley, President, Alaska Cruise Association
Harry Bruell, President & CEO, Southwest Conservation Corps
Jeff Chapman, Member of Board of Directors, Backcountry Horsemen of Washington and of Washington Trails Association
Mike Collins, Vice President, Public Affairs, REI
Adam Cramer, General Counsel and Policy Architect, Outdoor Alliance
Derrick A. Crandall, President, American Recreation Coalition
Jeri Duran, Montana Office of Tourism, Department of Commerce
Ben Ellis, Director, Alaska State Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Russ Ehnes, Executive Director, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
George Harris, President, Northwest Marine Trade Association
Julie Heizer, Deputy Director for Industry Relations, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade dministration
Frank Hugelmeyer, President & CEO, Outdoor Industry Association
Robin Jennison, Secretary, Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism
Aubrey C. King, Executive Director, Western States Tourism Policy Council
Ashley Korenblat, CEO, Western Spirit Cycling, Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association Public Lands Initiative
Martin LeBlanc, Mission Outdoors Director, Sierra Club, Executive Vice-President, IslandWood School
Rue Mapp, Youth Investment Program Officer, Stewardship Council
Lori McCullough, Executive Director, Tread Lightly!, Inc.
Nancy Merrill, Director, Idaho Parks and Recreation
Eleanor Morris, Policy Associate, The Nature Conservancy
Sandy Pantlick, Director, Oklahoma Travel Promotion
Nathan Rafferty, President and CEO, Ski Utah
Sherry L. Rupert, Board Member and Treasurer, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA)
Mark Rupp, Director, Washington State - WDC Office
Andy Treharne, Western States Manager, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Will Shafroth, Councilor to the Secretary, America's Great Outdoors, Department of the Interior
Amanda Smith, Executive Director, Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Diane Shober, Director, Wyoming Office of Tourism
Kathy Van Kleeck, Senior VP, Government Relations --  Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA)
Claudia Vecchio, Director, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs
Esther Worker, Education Account Manager, Esri


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John Stewart

CA LEGISLATURE VOTES TO GUT OHV GRANTS PROGRAM TO FEDERAL AND LOCAL PARTNERS

Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, states, “I am extremely disappointed that Mr. Huffman has apparently joined ranks with the anti-OHV community in their ongoing efforts to defund the OHV grants program via fiscal schemes such as the Sustainable Parks plan.”

“After witnessing today’s vote, it is clear to me that urban legislators have made the conscious decision to engage in political warfare against rural interests, economies, and local elected officials.  It also daylights the false promises made to special “user fee” programs (e.g. OHV, boating and waterways, special license plates, etc.) that their dedicated funds are protected.  Rather, it points to the fact that those funds will be raided in perpetuity to help mitigate the legislature’s failure to substantively address the state’s fiscal crisis,” Amador continues.

“It is also interesting to note that not one of the Sustainable Parks Program’s proponents had the courage to show up and speak in favor of the plan at today’s hearing.  Equally disappointing was that State Park leadership sat in stone cold silence while this issue was being discussed.  It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in California,” Amador concludes.

Representatives from the following organizations attended and spoke at the hearing.  Those groups include the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, American Motorcyclist Association, American Motorcyclist Association District 36, California Off-Road Vehicle Association, and the BlueRibbon Coalition.

# # #   

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BLUERIB - http://www.sharetrails.org.

 

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John Stewart

President to Sign Proclamation Designating Fort Ord National Monument

“Already, over 100,000 people come every year to enjoy all that Fort Ord has to offer. President Obama’s action, with the strong support of the people of California, will ensure that this special place continues to thrive for generations to come. At the same time, the creation of this new national monument is good for tourism, recreation, and local businesses that cater to the tens of thousands of people who come to experience this remarkable place,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

President Obama first used the Antiquities Act in November 2011 to designate the Fort Monroe National Monument, a former Army post integral to the history of slavery, the Civil War, and the U.S. military. First exercised by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, the authority of the Antiquities Act has been used by 16 presidents since 1906 to protect unique natural and historic features in America, such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients, and the Papahānaumokuākea marine protected area of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Today, Fort Ord provides exceptional recreational opportunities to over 100,000 visitors annually, offering 86 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.  The area is an economic engine for the community and serves as a key venue for the annual Sea Otter Classic, one of the largest bicycling events in the world with approximately 10,000 athletes and 50,000 spectators every year.

Nearly two and a half centuries ago, the area was traversed by a group of settlers led by Spanish Lieutenant-Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza, whose diaries were used to identify the route of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.  The area’s open, contiguous landscape owes its undeveloped state largely to its role as a U.S. Army facility.  From World War I through the early 1990s, the area’s rugged terrain served as a military training ground for as many as a million and a half American soldiers.  

The Fort Ord National Monument will be managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The BLM currently manages approximately 7,200 acres of the area, and the Army will transfer approximately 7,450 acres after clean-up under an existing base closure agreement between the Army and the BLM.  The BLM will continue to work closely with its many community, state, and Federal partners to effectively manage the new national monument, which will become part of the Bureau’s 27-million-acre National Landscape Conservation System.

The Department of the Interior lands support $363 billion in economic activity and 2.2 million jobs annually, with BLM public lands in California alone hosting more than 10 million recreation visitors a year.  This translates to an estimated contribution of $980 million to local California economies and 7,600 recreation-related jobs. 


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