VICTORY! Supreme Court: Grand Canyon Uranium-Mining Ban Stands

Grand Canyon Trust
North Rim. Photo by Blake McCord

Dear James,

Ready for some good news? The Grand Canyon uranium ban stands!

After a protracted legal battle to defend the temporary ban on new uranium claims around the Grand Canyon from attacks by the mining industry, the highest court in the land has finally put the matter to rest. On Monday, the Supreme Court denied an industry challenge to a lower court’s decision upholding the ban. This puts an end to the legal battle to reopen about 1 million acres of public land around the Grand Canyon to new uranium mining. We’re deeply grateful for the government’s savvy and forceful efforts to defeat the mining industry’s lawsuit, from the trial court to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The culmination of years of hard work, this victory is shared — with the Havasupai Tribe who make their home at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, with hunting and angling groups, local governments, allies in Congress, and other partners. And we wouldn’t be here without the hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens like you who have raised their voices to protect the Grand Canyon. Thank you.

While this decision is a very big step in the right direction, our work isn’t over yet. The current administration could still decide to lift the ban. It has listed uranium as a “critical mineral” and the Department of Commerce is in the midst of developing a strategy to streamline access to critical mineral deposits, including uranium. The Department of Commerce is also investigating, at the request of two uranium companies, whether to recommend uranium import quotas. Both of these things have significant potential to add political pressure to lift the ban.

Who owns uranium claims around the Grand Canyon? There are more than 800 active mining claims around the Grand Canyon.

The mining industry promises to continue to advocate against the ban and some politicians openly call for the ban to be rescinded.

A U.S. Forest Service recommendation to review and revise the ban is still floating in the ether.

In a meeting last month, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt told the Grand Canyon Trust that the agency currently has “no reason” to reconsider the ban. We’re very happy to hear this, of course, but we remain alert to the ever-shifting circumstances that could move this administration to give in to political pressure and open the door to attempts to weaken or lift the ban.

Thank you for your support over the last months and years, and for sticking with us for the long haul, working together to Keep the Canyon Grand.

Sincerely,

Amber Reimondo
Energy Program Director

P.S. While this is a critical win, we’re celebrating with vigilance. Pressure from the mining industry continues. Now is the time to double down on protections for the Grand Canyon. Donate to the Trust today.

Photo courtesy of Blake McCord.

Grand Canyon Trust
2601 N. Fort Valley Rd

Flagstaff, AZ, 86001
Phone: (928) 774-7488
grandcanyontrust.org

@GrandCanynTrust @GrandCanyonNPS @NatlParkService #PaddlesportsLaw #GCRG #GrandCanyonRiverGuides #WhitewaterPark #WhitewaterLaw #RecLaw #RecreationLaw #OutdoorLaw #OutdoorRecreationLaw #OutdoorIndustry #ORLawTextbook

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks

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National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks

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On September 22, join in the nation’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors on National Public Lands Day! All national parks will have free admission and many will host volunteer service projects open to all.

“Every year, Americans come together on National Public Lands Day to demonstrate their love of national parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “Activities hosted by parks across the nation will promote environmental stewardship and encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and good health.”

Marking its 25th anniversary this year, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day environmental volunteer effort. More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in volunteer service events designed to improve the health of public lands and encourage shared stewardship.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke will celebrate the day by working alongside groups of military veterans and youth to paint several historic structures at Grand Canyon National Park. The volunteer project to restore the cabins is an example of the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance needs in the National Park System. Secretary Zinke will also meet with national park partners and congressional representatives to discuss legislative efforts to address the maintenance backlog.

Grand Canyon is just one of 100 national parks and 2,600 federal public land sites hosting National Public Lands Day events. In other national parks, volunteers will rehabilitate campgrounds, improve trails, restore native habitats, repair bluebird boxes, clean beaches, and refurbish historic buildings, among other projects. Check NPS.gov for more information and a list of sites.

Volunteer efforts on days such as National Public Lands Day demonstrate the willingness of people to give back to the land for the benefit of parks. Volunteers assisting on work projects on National Public Lands Day will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for free entrance to any national park on a date of their choosing.

National Public Land Day celebrations also include recreational and educational activities, such as hikes, bike rides, paddle trips, bird watching excursions, and water quality testing. To encourage everyone to join the fun, it is an entrance fee-free day for national parks and most other federal public lands and state parks.

The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments. The federal partners are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

All National Public Lands Day events are free, and open to people of all ages and abilities. To learn more, register an event, or find an event near you, visit NEEFusa.org/NPLD. Follow National Public Lands Day on Twitter and Facebook for updates and share your own activities that day with #NPLD.

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Information on National Park Entrance Fees increase to $70 Comment period closes November 23, 2018

$70 to visit Grand Canyon?  There is a 30 days comment period underway right now where the public (and that means you) can weigh in on a significant entrance fee proposal that would affect a number of national parks including Grand Canyon. See this link for details and to access the website for submitting comments. https://www.nps.gov/…/1…/10-24-2017-fee-changes-proposal.htm

Will lower income and under-served populations be priced out? Shouldn’t national parks be affordable and accessible to everyone?  But how do we pay for the massive maintenance backlog that exists in our national parks?  Our parks belong to ALL Americans, not just those who visit them, and our administration should be boosting park budgets, not cutting them. Congress should also support the bipartisan legislation introduced specifically to address the NPS maintenance backlog — the National Parks Legacy Act (HR 2584 and SB 751) which is currently pending.

Also, please read these related blogs from our good friends at the National Parks Conservation Association:

https://www.npca.org/articles/1669-administration-proposes-massive-park-fee-increase

https://www.npca.org/articles/1508-sens-warner-portman-introduce-bipartisan-legislation-to-address-national

“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for some families to visit,” NPCA president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.”

 


Free Days for US National Parks for 2017: Get out and Get There!

 

 

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

National Park Service News Release

Release Date: November 14, 2017
Contact: Kathy Kupper,
kathy_kupper@nps.gov, 202-208-6843

National Park Service Announces Fee Free Days for 2017 

Ten More Great Reasons to Visit a National Park

WASHINGTON – Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit a national park for free on one of 10 fee free days in 2017.

The ten entrance fee-free days for 2017 will be:

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 20: Presidents Day
  • April 15-16 & April 22-23: National Park Week Weekends
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

“National parks are known for their priceless beauty,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “They are a bargain anytime but on these ten days in 2017, they really will be priceless. We want everyone to visit their national parks and the fee free days provide extra incentive to experience these amazing places.”

During the fee free days, all National Park Service sites will waive their entrance fees for all visitors. Usually, 124 of the 413 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The other 289 sites do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

To continue the national park adventure beyond these fee free days, the annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks,. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

The National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 413 sites including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park in every state.

Last year, 307 million people visited a national park. They spent $16.9 billion which supported 295,000 jobs and had a $32 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

In addition to national parks, the National Park Service works with tribes, local governments, and partners across the country to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Programs such as the National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and the Rivers, Trails, Conservation Assistance Program revitalize communities, celebrate local heritage, and provide places for people to get outside, be active, and have fun.

www.nps.gov


2017 Pathways Conference presented by Colorado State University, US Fish & Wildlife Service and Rocky Mountain National Park

Pathways Conference 2017

https://pathways2017.exordo.com

Join us for the Pathways 2017 conference hosted by Colorado State University, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado!

Abstract due date: April 24, 2017 (Call for abstracts Dec. 1)

Theme: Futures

 

Website: www.HDFWConference.org  

 

Mark your Calendar: September 17 – 20, 2017

Location: This year we return to the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Nestled in the outskirts of the beautiful town of Estes Park, the YMCA of the Rockies is surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park on three sides. This venue provides a fantastic setting with abundant wildlife viewing opportunities at your doorstep.


National Park Visitors Contributing $32 Billion to Economy

1874651408709286668.png National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Visitor Spending Contributes $32 Billion to Economy

Every public dollar invested in National Park Service returns $10

WASHINGTON – Spending by a record number of national park visitors in 2015 provided a $32 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 295,000 jobs, according to a report released today by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

“The big picture of national parks and their importance to the economy is clear,” Jarvis said of the $16.9 billion visitors spent in communities within 60 miles of a national park. “Each tax dollar invested in the National Park Service effectively returns $10 to the U.S. economy because of visitor spending that works through local, state and the U.S. economy.

“This is especially significant news to the gateway communities where national parks can be the community’s primary economic engine,” Jarvis said. “While we care for the parks and interpret the stories of these iconic natural, cultural and historic landscapes, our neighbors in nearby communities provide our visitors with important services like food and lodging and that means hundreds of thousands of local jobs.”

The report comes on the heels of a major policy speech delivered by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell earlier this week. The Secretary called for greater investments in national parks and public lands to prepare for the next century of conservation. The address, delivered during National Park Week, also called for a course correction in conserving America’s public lands; made an argument to make our national parks more relevant to an increasingly diverse and urbanized country; and called for implementing smarter, landscape-level planning to support healthy ecosystems and sustainable development on public lands.

Visitor spending in 2015 supported 295,000 jobs, provided $11.1 billion in labor income, $18.4 billion in value added, and $32.0 billion in economic output to the U.S. economy. The lodging sector provided the highest direct contributions with $5.2 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 52,000 jobs. The restaurants and bars sector provided the next greatest direct contributions with $3.4 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 65,000 jobs.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).

The annual peer-reviewed economics report, 2015 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, was prepared by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. It includes information by park and by state on visitor spending, the number of jobs supported by visitor spending and other statistics.

Report authors this year also produced an interactive tool to present data in full color circle and bar graphs . Users can explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.

National Park visitation is expected to grow again in 2016, the centennial year for the NPS. There are now 411 parks in the national park system, the latest is the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in Washington D.C., established by President Obama on April 12.

President Obama established a Centennial Initiative for the NPS anniversary and Congress is considering a centennial act to support a multi-year effort to invest wisely in the park system’s most important assets, use parks to enhance informal learning, engage volunteers, provide training opportunities for youth, and enhance the NPS’s ability to leverage partnerships to accomplish its mission.

For more state-by-state information about national parks and how the National Park Service is working with communities, go to http://www.nps.gov/[statename], for example: http://www.nps.gov/virginia.

National Park Visitor Spending Contributions to the U.S. Economy 2012-15

Visitation Visitor Spending Jobs Supported Local Jobs Total Output
2012 282,765,682 $14.7 billion 242,712 201,040 $26.8 billion
2013 273,630,895 $14.6 billion 237,599 197,343 $26.5 billion
2014 292,800,082 $15.7 billion 276,960 235,600 $29.7 billion
2015 307,247,252 $16.9 billion 295,339 252,030 $32 billion

Arizona Voters Overwhelmingly Support Grand Canyon National Monument, New Poll Finds

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/arizona-voters-overwhelmingly-support-grand-canyon-national-monument-new-poll-finds-8071711

Arizona Voters Overwhelmingly Support Grand Canyon National Monument, New Poll Finds

EXPAND

Sierralara/Shutterstock

Flying in the face of those who claim it would be unpopular to give the greater Grand Canyon watershed national monument status, a new nonpartisan poll finds that not only is there tremendous support for it but that it cuts across geographical and political lines.

“The results were overwhelming, and they demonstrated both strong and broad support [in] Arizona,” says Dave Metz of the research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, which polled hundreds of Arizona voters in January.

The pollsters discovered that 80 percent of Arizona voters support or strongly support the Grand Canyon National Heritage Monument, as outlined in a bill U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives last year.

Grijalva brought together a broad coalition of native tribes, environmental groups, and local stakeholders to design the bill, which if passed, would permanently protect 1.7 million acres of land and prevent any new uranium mines.

Courtesy of FM3

“More than half of Arizonans say more needs to be done to protect air, land, and water around the Grand Canyon, and they clearly see establishing that monument as an effective way of reaching that goal,” Metz says, adding that “the sentiment that the area around the Grand Canyon needs protection has grown over time.”

A similar poll conducted in 2009 found only 43 percent of people supported it, and a poll last year found that 73 percent of Arizonans support it.

Courtesy of Grand Canyon Trust

Local native tribes and environmental groups have talked about wanting national monument status for the Grand Canyon for years, and Grijalva’s efforts to make it a reality have solicited nothing short of a political firestorm among enemies of the bill.

Leading the charge is U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, who has railed against the monument proposal for months. Gosar claims it would cost hundreds of jobs, destroy the local economy, and hinder sportsmen or other recreational users of the area.

U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva

Courtesy of Raul Grijalva

In an interview earlier this year, Grijalva told New Times that Gosar’s “opposition is based on myths” and that he “needs to own up to the fact that he’s on the fringe of every public-land argument we have in this country.”

The benefit of this, Grijalva explained, helps “put the opposition of some in context with many . . . It’s important to deal with what the public wants and thinks, as opposed to letting this discussion be mired in half-truths, false information, and the sheer cry from opposition that doesn’t represent the vast majority of the people in Arizona.”

Both Metz and Grijalva say they were impressed by the broad appeal of the monument, as men and women across the state expressed support for the idea of national monuments in general and the Grand Canyon monument in particular.

According to the poll results, there is support for the Grand Canyon monument among:

  • 76 percent of men and 84 percent of women,
  • 65 percent of registered Republicans, 84 percent of independents, and 95 percent of Democrats,
  • 78 percent of people living in Congressional District 1, which is where the proposed monument would be,
  • 79 percent of white voters, 86 percent of Latino voters, and 87 percent of all voters of color, including Native Americans,
  • 81 percent of people living in urban areas, 83 percent in suburban areas, 79 percent in small towns, and 73 percent in rural areas,
  • And 76 percent of hunters and anglers.

Joe Jiang/Flickr

Unlike past polls, this most recent one also asked voters how their opinion of elected officials could be influenced by a vote for or against the monument:

“Voters were three times as likely to say they would support a politician who backed the establishment of the monument,” Metz says. “So not only do voters indicate that it’s a good idea, but they say that they’ll be more supportive of members of Congress who act to make the monument reality.”

Last year, Grijalva, along with Arizona U.S. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick and Ruben Gallego, authored a public letter detailing their support for the monument. In the months since, however, Kirkpatrick has distanced herself from that stance, explaining that she’s still considering the statements of many local stakeholders.

But with public opinion clearly on his side, Grijalva says he’s ready to continue the fight: “As we go forward, we have strong support from the people in Arizona, the first nations most affected by this monument designation, [as well as] hunters and anglers and people that use our public land.

“I think we can start to put aside the shrill debate that occurs on this issue” and start taking “the steps to build  public support.”


National Parks maintenance backlog reaches $11.9 Billion Dollars

1874651408709286668.png National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Office of Communications
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
202-208-6843 phone
www.nps.gov
National Park Service News Release
Release Date: February 5, 2016

Contact: Jeffrey Olson, Jeffrey_olson 202-208-6843

National Parks maintenance backlog reaches $11.9 billion

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) this week released its Fiscal Year 2015 deferred maintenance statistics for national parks. The $11.93 billion nationwide total is a $440 million increase from the previous year.

Deferred maintenance is necessary work – performed on infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails and campgrounds – that has been delayed for more than one year. Aging facilities, increasing use of park facilities and scarce resources contribute to the growing backlog.

“While Congress provided increases this year, the annual bill for maintenance in America’s national parks is still almost twice as much as is appropriated,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

Congressional funding for the National Park Service in 2016 includes an additional $90 million for non-transportation maintenance. Congress also passed a new highway bill which will provide a $28 million increase for transportation projects in parks this year. Funding for transportation-related maintenance and construction will continue to rise, by $8 million per year for five years, until it reaches $300 million per year in 2020.

Nearly every unit in the National Park System has maintenance items that have been deferred. Regions regularly evaluate and prioritize project submissions to ensure available dollars make a difference, and will be using the new funds to address the highest priorities. For details about deferred maintenance at a particular national park, visit go.nps.gov/deferredmaint and click on the “NPS Asset Inventory Summary by Park” report.

Even though more maintenance items had to be deferred in 2015, these increases from Congress are welcome. Jarvis said they are part of a multifaceted approach to end the growth of deferred maintenance and eventually have enough resources to keep pace with annual maintenance responsibilities.

“We have a lot yet to do but I think everything is moving in the right direction,” Jarvis said of the deferred maintenance issue. “Congress has pitched in with base funding and with additional funds for the Centennial Challenge – a program that enables us to leverage private and non-profit partner contributions to complete important projects that improve visitor services in parks. There is more Congress can do through the Centennial Act now under consideration including short-term mandatory appropriations.”

www.nps.gov


Voting to not change the names of iconic Yosemite landmarks only supports the protagonist

We should have stopped this a decade ago, it’s too late now.

The facts are sort of simple understanding the law relating to the issue is confusing.

Delaware North was a concessionaire running the Yosemite National Park concession. Delaware North like a lot of concessionaires had to purchase the assets of the prior owner of the concession in 1993. That purchase included a lot of trademarks including the ones at issue here.

Allegedly the National Park Service decades ago required concessionaires to trademark the famous names in their concession. Anyone taking over a concession must purchase the assets of the prior concessionaire. This issue is determining the value of those assets which include the trademarks on the valuable names.

Anyone using a trademark must do so with the permission (that means pay money) of the owner of the trademark. If the NPS wants to use the name Ahwahnee then they must pay Delaware North money.

Delaware North lost the concession agreement with the National Park Service (NPS).

Delaware North has spent the time since the loss of the concession trying to get the NPS to determine a value of the assets to be sold to the new concessionaire. When the NPS would not agree to the values or arbitrate the issues Delaware North then sued the National Park Service for violation of its trademarks. Delaware North says the trademark is worth $51 million basically.

Congress cannot do anything. Congress cannot take away a legally obtained trademark. A trademark is a property right. It is something that is owned like land, a car, and your clothes. For congress to take away someone’s trademark would be like someone from the government coming and taking your car. They can’t unless you have committed a crime with your car. Here no crime has been committed that I have read about.

It is simple. Either we, the United States can pay Delaware North a lot of money to continue to use the names of the properties or we sue and lose and spend a lot of money on attorney fees and then pay Delaware North money. Probably the NPS (us) will be paying Delaware North into eternity if we sue. Delaware North would get a license fee every year, damages for prior use, interests, costs and attorney fees.

And if not Delaware North, then the next concessionaire and the next……

Congress cannot do anything. It is very rare for (Congress to do anything) take away someone’s ownership right absent a crime. So far no one has found a crime in this mess. On top of that I seriously doubt congress would do anything about it.

Your signature on Petitions, online comments etc., are ONLY helping Delaware North.

Every time there is another signature, comment etc., it just goes to prove the value of the trademark and increases the amount of money owed to Delaware North.

If you want to help solve the problem QUIT talking about this issue.

By changing the names to the landmarks the NPS might be able to reduce the value of the Trademarks to a reasonable value. Then the US can either buy the trademark names back (again will require an act of congress I think) or not worry about it.

Another alternative is for us to wait until the value drops and raise the money and buy the landmarks back ourselves.

Either way it is going to be a long and expensive process. There is nothing you or I can do about this now.

The irony of the issue is decades ago the NPS required the concessionaire to trademark the valuable names. Now the NPS is arguing the names can’t be trademarked because they have historical value.

This is a great article about the issues:

Yosemite Concessionaire has offered National Park Service free use of Yosemite trademark names during legal dispute

Another article that is worth reading:

Yosemite changes names of park sites as a result of trademark dispute

 

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Free day at Our National Parks on Matin Luther King Day! Get Outside

1874651444147025247.jpg

Commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in a National Park

Free Admission and Special Events will Take Place Nationwide

WASHINGTON – On Monday, January 18, national parks throughout the country will commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All national parks will provide free admission for all visitors and many parks will host special events or volunteer service projects.

“We invite all Americans to honor the legacy of Dr. King in a national park,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Attend a special event, take part in a volunteer project, or visit a site with a direct connection to this great leader. We are all encouraged to remember the values of service and commitment to community that Dr. King exemplified throughout his life. Let’s make this holiday truly a day on, not a day off.”

In addition to waiving entrance fees at all national parks, many parks will host programs or volunteer work projects. Following is a partial list, please visit www.nps.gov/findapark/mlk-jr-day.htm for more events and information.

  • Community Vegetable Garden Planting and Wellness Fair at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana
  • Invasive Plant Species Removal, Drainage & Inlet Cleaning at Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania
  • Anacostia River Clean-up with the Student Conservation Association at Anacostia Park in Washington, DC
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Film Series and Dialogue at George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri
  • Tsunami Debris Clean-up, Habitat Restoration, and more at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California

The additional entrance fee-free days for 2016 will be April 16 through 24, August 25 through 28, September 24, and November 11. Come to a national park and discover the sites and stories of our shared heritage.

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Contact information: National Park Service , National Park Service-WINVALE, 290 Broadway Lbby 2, New York, NY 100071892i.gif&i=20160108203849.000000160fac%40mail6-05-pao.dyndns.com&x=MHw1NjA0Nzo2ODViNzkwNWZlNmFiOTBjMGU1NDFmYjE3NTA1NDk4NzdmYzgxNzdhOzF8NTYwNDg6MzgyNDc3Ow%3D%3D


National Park Service Seeks Public Input on a Backcountry Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon News Release

National Park Service Seeks Public Input on a Backcountry Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) announced today another opportunity for the public to weigh in on revisions to Grand Canyon National Park’s Backcountry Management Plan (BMP). The NPS began developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for this plan in 2011 in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). More than 580 public comments were submitted during the initial phases of the development of this DEIS.

The purpose of the BMP is to establish an up-to-date plan that addresses contemporary backcountry issues and provides an adaptable framework and continues to allow the public to experience and preserve Grand Canyon’s unique backcountry and wilderness. Grand Canyon’s existing BMP was completed in 1988 and requires revisions to comply with current NPS laws and policies and the park’s 1995 General Management Plan. The park’s backcountry encompasses over 1.1 million acres, most of which are proposed for wilderness designation.

Available for review and comment, the BMP DEIS evaluates four alternatives–a no-action alternative and three action alternatives. The comment period for the DEIS will close 90 days after the Notice of Availability (NOA) is published in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Register.

Public participation is an integral part of this planning process and will help ensure the plan’s success. To facilitate public participation, the NPS will host open house meetings as follows:

Tuesday, December 2, 2015

Grand Canyon Village, South Rim

Shrine of the Ages

From 4 to 6 pm

Monday, December 7, 2015

DoubleTree Hotel, 1175 W. Route 66

Flagstaff, AZ

From 4 to 7 pm

The NPS will also hold at least one webinar to reach the broadest range of stakeholders and interested public. Information about the webinar will be announced at a later date.

All interested parties may submit comments in person at one of the open house meetings; on the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website; or via the US Postal Service.

The PEPC database is the preferred method for submitting comments and can be accessed at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/grca. Click on the “Backcountry Management Plan” or “Open for Comments” tab on the left-hand side of the toolbar and then select the EIS link.

Comments can also be mailed to: Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, Attn: Backcountry Management Plan, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.

More information about the Backcountry Management Plan and DEIS, public scoping, and public meetings will be posted on the PEPC site as it becomes available.


Youth Internships Available with the National Park Service

Four national internship programs now accepting project proposals – DUE October 30

Please help distribute to others in your park that might be interested in applying

InsideNPS Article

http://inside.nps.gov/index.cfm?handler=viewnpsnewsarticle&type=Announcements&id=17861

The WASO Youth Programs Division is pleased to announce that four national internship programs (See below) are now accepting project proposals for the 2016 summer work season. These professional development internship programs provide quality work experiences for diverse individuals ages 18-35 in various fields across the NPS system. Project proposal applications are due COB Wednesday, October 30thfor most programs listed below.

National Youth Employment Programs:
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program (HBCUI): This program is designed to link college students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to appointments at NPS sites and program offices. This program is administered by our nation NPS partner Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) (alex_tremble or 202-513-7159.

Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP): LHIP aims to provide meaningful work experiences to Latino students in the fields of cultural resources, interpretation, and outreach. LHIP is administered in partnership with the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) and the Environment for the Americas (EFTA). In addition to working on substantive NPS assignments, LHIP interns receive additional mentoring and support through HAF and EFTA. See more at Paloma_bolasny or 202-354-2174.

Mosaics in Science (MIS): The MIS Program provides youth under-represented in natural resource science career fields with meaningful, on-the-ground, work experience in the NPS. The program is administered by the Geologic Resources Division in collaboration with other Natural Resource Stewardship and Science (NRSS) Divisions and the Youth Programs Division. MIS positions are fully funded by the WASO Youth Programs Division. Parks and programs interested in applying for a MIS position must submit a position description by COB Sunday, November 1stat lisa_norby or 303-969-2318.

NPS Academy (NPSA): NPS Academy is an innovative, experiential learning program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students, ages 18-35, from under-represented communities to career opportunities with the National Park Service. Many of the interns attend a week-long orientation over spring break and serve in 12-week summer internships tailored to various NPS career tracks. Summer internships are available in a variety of fields, including visitor services, education, resource management – and many more (epoore) or Dave Barak (dbarak) for more information on the application process.

Ben Baldwin

Office of Interpretation, Education & Youth Engagement

Intermountain Regional Office
National Park Service

(303) 969-2319

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After 40 Years, the Ride Continues: Adventure Cycling Seeks to Reconnect with Bikecentennial & TransAm Cyclists

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After 40 Years, the Ride Continues: Adventure Cycling Seeks to Reconnect with Bikecentennial & TransAm Cyclists

Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2016 will include events, tours, reunions, ’76 retro merchandise and more.

MISSOULA, MONTANA, April 22, 2015 —Adventure Cycling Association has been creating social networks since the launch of Bikecentennial in 1976. Now, the largest cycling membership organization in North America wants to reconnect with those involved in Bikecentennial and cyclists who have ridden all or part of the TransAmerica Trail between 1976 and today. In preparation for a yearlong 40th anniversary celebration in 2016, Adventure Cycling invites Bikecentennial and TransAm cyclists to fill out an online form to share their contact and trip information. Anyone interested in participating or volunteering in the 40th anniversary events can also fill out the online form.

“We are looking to reconnect and honor the contributions made by our original Bikecentennial family and those who have cycled our first route, the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.” stated Eva Dunn-Froebig, events and outreach coordinator for Adventure Cycling. “We are also excited to engage present and future generations with a great lineup of events open to people of all ages.”

Adventure Cycling was founded as Bikecentennial, a 4,250-mile TransAmerican bicycle ride in the summer of 1976, with over 4,100 participants. Today, Adventure Cycling has over 48,000 members, guided tours, an award-winning magazine, 44,673 miles of bicycle routes, an online store, and bicycle travel advocacy programs.

In addition to reconnecting with TranAm and Bikecentennial 76 cyclists, Adventure Cycling is looking to engage anyone who is interested in celebrating 40 years of bike travel with family-friendly events, special tours, retro merchandise, and more. Those interested can fill out the online form.

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The 40th anniversary will include The Montana Bicycle Celebration, July 15 – 17, 2016 in Missoula, Montana—home of Adventure Cycling’s headquarters—and will bring together bike travelers from all over the world for celebratory Bikecentennial reunions and parties with inspirational speakers, and music, art and film. Organized bike rides throughout the weekend will showcase Missoula’s trail system including the completed 50-mile Bitterroot Trail south of Missoula. On the same weekend, Tour of Montana will host professional bike races, an expo, and a Gran Fondo.

Two new annual events, set to kick off in 2016, will inspire a bike travel movement throughout North America. National Bike Travel Weekend, June 3 – 5, 2016, will motivate bike travelers from all over North America to go on bike overnights through a festive online community. Adventure Cycling will provide do-it-yourself resources and an interactive map that will connect bike travelers during what will be the most prolific weekend of bike travel in North America. Bike to Your National Park Day on September 24, 2016 will celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial, National Public Lands Day, and Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary by promoting bike travel to and within national parks, state parks, and other recreational areas.

In honor of the 40th anniversary, in 2016, Adventure Cycling will offer extra TransAmerica Trail tours and other special epic tours, including on Bicycle Route 66, the Underground Railroad and the Great Divide. Sign-ups will be available on the Adventure Cycling website in the summer of 2015.

For those who cannot attend Adventure Cycling’s events or tours and want to plan their own reunion or ride, Adventure Cycling will provide online tools and resources to help plan Do-It-Yourself Reunions and Celebrations throughout 2016.

Adventure Cycling will also have retro-themed jerseys and merchandise available in the Cyclosource store throughout 2016. Other Bikecentennial projects include a beautiful, large format, picture-laden book about the TransAmerican Trail co-authored by Greg Siple, a co-founder of Adventure Cycling, and longtime Adventure Cycling staff member Mac McCoy; special bike giveaways; a commemorative beer; an online project that will recognize 40 bicyclists who have made significant contributions to the bike travel community; and an archival project with Story Corps to preserve the fulfilling and transformative memories of Bikecentennial cyclists and other bike adventurers.

“Bikecentennial started with a vision to encourage more people to experience bike travel and was fueled by the passion of a small group of dedicated staff and volunteers,” Siple says. “Bikecentennial 76 continues to inspire bike travelers of all ages and backgrounds 40 years later.”

Adventure Cycling invites the public to share photos, stories and words of wisdom from Bikecentennial, now, and any time in between at adventurecycling.tumblr.com.

For more information about Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary visit adventurecycling.org/40th.


Great Opportunity for Graduate Student to Study in Colorado at Grand Sand Dunes National park and Preserve

Social Science Park Break – Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Dates: October 11-16, 2015

The opportunity:

The George Wright Society and National Park Service Social Science Program announce an exciting opportunity for graduate students. Applications are being accepted for participation in a social science focused Park Break Program at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (GRSA). The objective of this program is for students to understand a variety of applied social science methods to collect information about visitor activities, attitudes, and travel patterns in GRSA, and how these results integrate into planning across a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. The park unit is ramping up efforts to conduct a backcountry management plan in the coming years, and has initiated collections of visitor use and social science information in the summer and fall of 2015. As part of this program, students will understand protected area management issues and questions that exist in relation to resource protection and visitor enjoyment, and how social science information can benefit this planning effort to prescribe backcountry management direction into the future.

What is included?

Park Break is an all-expenses-paid, park-based field seminar for graduate students who are thinking about a career in park management or park-related research and education. Park Break puts you in a national park unit for five days of field and classroom activities in close collaboration with park scientists and scholars, managers and administrators, and partner organizations.

Who is eligible?

Graduate students (Ph.D. or Master’s level) who are studying in fields related to parks, protected areas, and cultural sites.

Park Break puts you on the path to success:

Several Park Breakers have been hired by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Other Park Break alums have embarked on Ph.D. programs. Park Break makes you and your skills visible!

For more information and how to apply:

Visit http://www.georgewright.org/parkbreak to learn more about the opportunity, and http://www.georgewright.org/parkbreak_apply to apply. Deadline is May 15, 2015.

Contact Ryan Sharp (ryan.sharp) with questions.


AMGA Terrain and Supervision Guidelines? Making more rules does not make things safer. Rarely does that work, look at the laws concerning our highways and the highway deaths. Making more rules does lead to more lawsuits. Again, look at our highways.

The latest actions of AMGA hit a lot of nerves and rightfully so. As usual, the lack of understanding and the desire to create something (not sure what) labeled standards are going to create lawsuits. The new Terrain & Supervision Guidelines won’t solve any problems; they’ll only create new ones.

I’ve attached the new requirements here below, so you can review them yourself. If not, you can download your own set here: Terrain & Supervision Guidelines. I’m not sure why the AMGA has created the new requirements. I’ve been told it is a money thing, I’ve been told it is a safety thing, I’ve been told it is a back door into trying to get permits on NPS lands; I have no real idea. I do know it won’t accomplish any of those goals. I did not contact the AMGA to find out what or why.

Attorneys love to deal in fuzzy it gives them latitude to litigate. The only time they don’t like fuzzy is when something is solid and proves their case without having to work very hard. The new Terrain & Supervision Guidelines are the classic sharp line to help prove the defendant was wrong and everything else is fuzzy so no one really knows how to help the defendant.

Let me reminisce.

I quit providing pro bono legal work to the AMGA over fifteen years ago when another attorney said he could get the AMGA into national parks. I told the AMGA that would never happen. I moved on. Fifteen years later and at least two attorneys failing to pull AMGA guides into parks, the AMGA might be going around to the back door believing the back door will open.

Back doors meaning the NPS employees in individual parks who lead the rescues have to deal with the current concessionaires; who they don’t like (familiarity breed’s contempt). It is always easier to like someone who is sucking up in the belief; you can get them in a park to guide.

The problem is the door is not at any park; the door is in Washington DC no matter what the AMGA wants to believe. It doesn’t start at 1849 C St NW, Washington, DC 20240, the Department of the Interior address, either, but at Congress. Congress made the laws the NPS, and the USFS are enforcing on commercial guides on Federal lands. Until the AMGA can raise millions, probably $10 million dollars to lobby Congress, nothing will even look like it is going to change. And I suspect that the $10 million is not enough because the current companies that own permits and concessions will lobby against it, and they are bigger. Remember the big hotel concessions in the parks also run raft trips, trail rides and work with climbing guides.

However, I’ve also been told that the AMGA has backed off from the position that AMGA guides should be allowed to guide in National Parks.

I have found some legal disasters in the new Terrain & Supervision Guidelines.

The guidelines won’t apply to staff hired prior to 2008. An arbitrary number I guess, or probably the number when the last member of the committee became certified and was hired. I sat through board meetings when the first date of guides to be grandfathered under the UIAGM was determined. It was ugly, funny and basically a turf war. Trial attorneys will tear this up. (How come Guide X made it and Guide Y did not. Guide Y has thousands of year’s more recent experience, and Guide X has not been on a mountain since 08?)

The guidelines require that everything has to be documented “in the guide’s personnel file.” Thank heavens the AMGA has reviewed all HR laws in the US and knows this will not create problems. If personal files are paper, then you better get accordion files. To back this up, you’ll have to collect all the information supporting the requirements in the guidelines first, and then add the review of the supervising guides and the evaluations. Weather conditions, snow conditions, terrain maps, route maps, etc., can take a lot of space in a file folder.

My favorite rule is one that requires a guide who has not made the qualifications yet, must be under the direct supervision of a guide who has met the qualifications. Unless the guide, who has met the qualifications, has to take guests down the mountain, then the two guides can be in radio contact. The rules allow the least experienced guide to remain up high, alone.

Direct Supervision: Direct supervision implies side by side guiding such as two rope teams traveling near by on a glacier or on nearby multi-pitch routes, daily briefings and debriefings about route selection, strategy, and client care. Side by side guiding and meetings should be documented in the guide’s personnel file. It is the supervising guide’s responsibility to ensure that assigned tasks are appropriate to a guide’s training and ability. It is allowable for the mentored guide to be in radio or phone contact when turning around with clients to descend.

What if the guide who has been certified, leaves to summit with a group of clients, can the one who hasn’t been certified stay with the clients who don’t/can’t summit. They’ll be in radio contact?

So you make a rule, then you make an exception to the rule. On Denali in a few years, this will be a disaster. The new concession requirements for climbing concessions are going to reduce the number of guides with a commercial group. Rescues will be done without commercial guides because a guide won’t be able to leave the group and work the rescue with these guidelines. (Rescues in the future on Denali are going to be a mess with the latest version of the commercial rules anyway, that is a whole other article.)

The languages of the guidelines are full of legal land mines. Here are some of my favorites.

…who are appropriately trained, tenured or certified

It is the supervising guide’s responsibility to ensure that assigned tasks are appropriate to a guide’s training and ability.

Certified supervisors

…is not of wilderness in nature

My favorite are the terms applied to different people.

Apprentice Guide

Assistant Guide

Aspirant Mountain Guide

Certified Guide

So does that mean you are a patrol leader or a star scout? More importantly do you get a badge?

Here are some more phrases that seem innocuous but don’t make sense.

The stated goal of the new accreditation standard is to have all field staff, except those meeting the 2008 exemption, be trained by the AMGA for the terrain they work on.

So guides who met the requirements prior to 2008 cannot have a lick of training, sense or experience now and not be up to date on the requirements.

How is this going to happen? So I have a concession to guide on Denali. Am I supposed to bring you on one of my trips to tell me that you can train me on this terrain? What about the NPS on this issue and their current regulations. I guess you can come, go sign up and pay the fee, and I’ll take you where I am permitted to go.

AMGA courses are considered the baseline technical training for specific terrain types and are not a substitute for in-house training.

Yet above, they said this is the best you can get? What is this going to mean in court? The AMGA is just the baseline, yet the states the IFMGA (UIAGM) are now the baseline.

(The IFMGA (UIAGM) was founded to allow guides in Europe to guide everywhere and is the International Organization the AMGA must follow.)

I doubt that this has been run by the IFMGA (UIAGM).

Do Something

What’s going to happen? The big concessionaire members of the AMGA are either going to leave and financially sink the AMGA or revolt. No one will be happy either way. They don’t need greater chances of being sued. People die on mountains, and I would guess these new guidelines are not going to change that. They know the terrain and have in place, with NPS approval a way of guiding customers and training staff.

I have not taken the time to compare these guidelines with current NPS regulations for various mountains. I suspect there may be some conflicts. What is a concessionaire supposed to do, not follow the NPS and lose their permit or not follow these. Let’s see I pay money to the AMGA I make money with my NPS permit. Who am I going to follow?

These guidelines, like all standards for people, will only create a checklist for the attorney representing an injured client to sue. The guidelines will be taken and incorporated in interrogatories about each member of the guiding team. One misstep on the mountain or in discovery and these guidelines will change the lawsuit from what we can defend to how much we have to pay.

Don’t get me wrong. The American Mountain Guides Association has some of the greatest people I know as members and as an organization has accomplished tons. However, it is faced with an impossible job with no money to accomplish the job: the promise the AMGA made to the IFMGA in 1993 is never going to come through.

However, making standards, guidelines for people do not stop lawsuits; they only help the plaintiff’s win lawsuits.

Click on the link to download your own copy of the Terrain & Supervision Guidelines.

See the following articles where association guidelines were used to sue the association member:

ACA Standards are used by Expert for the Plaintiff in a lawsuit against a Camp                                       http://rec-law.us/zmKgoi

Great article about the risks of an organization creating standards for members of the industry – and I did not write it                                                                              http://rec-law.us/1rk8oHR

If your organization says you do something and you are a member of the organization you better do it or be able to explain why you did not                                   http://rec-law.us/1gOLpju

Expert Witness Report: ACA “Standards” are used by Expert for the Plaintiff in a lawsuit against a Camp            http://rec-law.us/y7QlJ3

Industry standards are proof of gross negligence and keep defendant in lawsuit even with good release            http://rec-law.us/1dqBdxo

Plaintiff uses standards of ACCT to cost defendant $4.7 million                   http://rec-law.us/11UdbEn

So if you write standards, you can, then use them to make money when someone sues your competitors            http://rec-law.us/1gCGce8

Trade Association Standards sink a Summer Camp when plaintiff uses them to prove Camp was negligent                                                                               http://rec-law.us/wszt7N

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What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

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Has the National Park Service or the Grand Canyon National Park created a new “group” between commercial and private: noncommercial, organized group

 What has been casually used to define car groups has moved into the area of activities?

 The National Park Service, Grand Canyon National Park issued new regulations concerning running or hiking rim to rim or a rim to rim to rim. Rim to rim hike or run starts at either the North or South Rim, the person follows the trail to the floor of the canyon and then ascends back up to the other rim. A rim to rim to rim you start at one rim runs down and back up to the other rim and then turns around and run back. A rim to rim hike or run is 21 miles and has 4000 drop and gain in altitude.

 In Northern Arizona no matter what time of the year, this is a tough hike or run for one day.

 Of course, once something gets public attention everyone has to do it. (See Everest if you don’t believe this.) Now people are undertaking the feat without enough training, skill or knowledge putting stress on the already overburdened NPS staff and resources.

 It is for that reason that groups of people doing this now require a permit. The Permit information page is here if you are interested in taking a group of seven or more on one of these adventures.

 What caught my attention was the term used to describe these groups. “Noncommercial organized groups.” In the recent past the NPS has used this term to reduce or raise fees on groups visiting the park, mostly by car. This term was applied to church groups, school groups, etc. The term seems to be defined as “Groups and organizations that are non-commercial, and do not qualify for an educational fee waiver (churches, school clubs, scout groups, and other organizations)….” However, this is the first time I have seen it applied to anything other than entering the park.

 By this, I mean the NPS charges a different rate to groups as they come through the front gate. Consequently, the group is identified, fills out a permit and pays the fee as a group.

 Here the term has been applied to an activity in the park. Normally, activities are defined as private or commercial. Private are a group of people where no one makes money on the trip or is paid to be there. Commercial is somewhat defined where someone is making money (not necessarily a profit) or is being paid to go on the trip.

 Is this a new type of permit? Where is this going? Are we going to see it in the future (yes)?

 To Read the Grand Canyon NP article see: Grand Canyon Announces Interim Permits for Organized Groups Conducting Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hiking and Running

 To read an article on the issue see: R2R Permits Required at Grand Canyon

 What do you think? Leave a comment.

 If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

 Copyright 2013 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law

 

Email: Rec-law@recreation-law.com

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By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com      James H. Moss         #Authorrank

 

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Federal Interagency annual pass opens the gate to more than 2,000 recreation areas

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Celebrate Independence in the great outdoors
Interagency annual pass opens the gate to more than
2,000 recreation areas

Dear Park Enthusiast –
This summer, why not flex your independence by experiencing all the treasures your national parks and wildlife areas have to offer, with the convenient annual Interagency pass?Buy the Interagency pass now and start using it this weekend**.

For a single, one-time fee, you get a full year of access to more than 2,000 Federal recreation sites across the country managed by:

National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Bureau of Land Management
• Bureau of Reclamation

Imagine hiking through a pristine meadow in Yellowstone, or visiting historic Gettysburg where President Lincoln delivered his famous address. Take your family to see designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks 700 years ago at Petroglyph National Monument. Visit just two or three recreation areas in the next 12 months and your Interagency pass will have paid for itself!

Learn more online. If you have questions, call our Customer Service Representatives at
(703) 994-4194 or email service.

Best wishes and Happy 4th of July –
Kinsail Corporation
Authorized Vendor of the National Parks / Interagency Annual Pass
1420 Beverly Road
Suite 150
McLean VA 22101
P: (703) 994-4194
F: (518) 615-8422
service* If you buy your annual Interagency pass now (between today and July 31), it’s valid
through July 31, 2015.
** If you request expedited shipping.

Submit Your Photos: 2014 Share the Experience Contest America’s federal lands, national parks, forests, waterways and historical sites

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Share the Experience Photo Contest is Back!The 2014 Share the Experience Photo Contest is now accepting entries through December 31. If you’re an amateur photographer, this is your chance to submit inspiring images of America’s federal lands, national parks, forests, waterways and historical sites. The 2014 contest features many prizes and a brand new submission category – Night Skies.Share the Experience showcases amazing photography that highlights the endless recreation opportunities and breathtaking scenery offered by our federal lands. In 2013 about 18,000 images were submitted. See our complete list of 2013 winners and honorable mentions.

Will you be our next winner? The 2014 Grand Prize package includes $10,000, the winning image featured on the 2016 America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass and other great prizes. For a full listing of prizes and rules, or to submit a photo, please visit www.sharetheexperience.org.

2014 submission categories include:

· Adventure & Outdoor Recreation

· Historical & Cultural

· Let’s Move Outside!

· Night Skies – NEW!

· Scenic, Seasons & Landscapes

· Wildlife

Participating Federal Agencies include: National Park Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service.

Make sure you, your family and friends visit www.sharetheexperience.org to view amazing photos and weekly winners, vote for favorites and submit your entries.

Good Luck!

Enter Your Photo NowCONTEST SPONSORSNational Park Foundation
ACTIVE Network
Celestron

 

 

Recreation.gov

Business Opportunity Announced for Hospitality Contract on South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

Feel like entertaining a million people a year? Read on!

Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga has announced the availability of a prospectus for a business opportunity in the park, to provide lodging, food services, retail, transportation, mule rides, and other services on the South Rim.   This prospectus, similar to one announced on August 6, 2013, outlines the business opportunity, describes the existing business, and provides details on how to submit a responsive proposal.

The new 15 year contract is one of the largest in the National Park Service (NPS) in terms of revenue and lodging inventory. The services required in this prospectus have generated an average of approximately $66 million in gross revenues annually.

This historic lodging and hospitality contract (CC-GRCA001-15) will include lodging, retail and food service in the historic Grand Canyon Village including the El Tovar, Bright Angel Lodge, Thunderbird and Kachina Lodges, Maswik Lodge and Phantom Ranch, as well as retail and food service at Hermits Rest.  It will also continue to include transportation services such as bus tours, taxi service and mule rides. 

The historic Desert View Watchtower, which is currently operated as a gift shop, will be transferred to the NPS and will remain open to the public.

Concessions contracts are developed and issued under the authority of the Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998, P.L. 105-391, and its attending regulations in 36 CFR §51. 

All interested parties are encouraged to apply and submit a responsive proposal to the prospectus. This new opportunity is being advertised on the Federal Business Opportunities web site, www.fbo.gov.  The prospectus is available online at http://www.concessions.nps.gov/prospectuses.htm.  To obtain a paper copy of the prospectus please contact Jennifer Parker at 303-969-2661303-969-2661.

Responsive proposals must be received by the Intermountain Regional Office by Monday, May 12, 2014.  For additional information, please contact Jennifer Parker, Chief of Concessions, Intermountain Region at 303-969-2661303-969-2661. 

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Bill before congress to open the Yellowstone River and Grand Teton National Parks to paddling has an interesting side

The bill is sponsored by, let’s say, a very non environmental supporter in Congress. The bill is part of several other bills which are not so innocuous and the bill opens vast areas to paddling that the NPS will not be able to control.

You can find the bill here:

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3492

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 14, 2013

Mrs. Lummis (for herself and Mr. Bishop of Utah) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To provide for the use of hand-propelled vessels in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the National Elk Refuge, and for other purposes.

1.

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the ” River Paddling Protection Act “.

2.

Regulations Superseded

(a)

In general

The following regulations shall have no force or effect with regard to hand-propelled vessels and the Secretary of the Interior may not issue substantially similar regulations that apply to hand-propelled vessels:

(1)

Section 7.13(d)(4)(ii) of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, regarding vessels on streams and rivers in Yellowstone National Park.

(2)

Section 7.22(e)(3) of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, regarding vessels on lakes and rivers in Grand Teton National Park.

(b)

Wildlife-Dependent recreational use

Notwithstanding section 25.21(a) of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, regarding National Elk Refuge, the use of hand-propelled vessels on rivers and streams in the National Elk Refuge shall be considered a “wildlife-dependent recreational use” as that term is defined in section 5(2) of Public Law 89–669 ( 16 U.S.C. 668ee(2) ).

On the surface it looks great. We can paddle on a couple of rivers that have been closed forever. However, does it open up too much?  It does not stop on the Yellowstone River but all rivers in Yellowstone National park. The same with Grand Teton National Park, everything will be fair paddling game.

Honestly, I don’t know if that is good, great or bad.  You need to read and investigate for yourself.

Here are some comments: Protection of parks requires self restraint and Lummis Boating Legislation for Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks Misguided.

Do Something

Read, educate yourself and get involved.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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What a Government Shutdown means to individuals

Curious about how the Government Shutdown will affect some people. Read this email from the Utah Rafters List Serve!

As a United States Government shutdown looms large, plans are now in place to close all National Parks across the country on October 1, 2013. The closures will impact all recreational opportunities at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona, including the cancellation of all river trips.

According to Grand Canyon National Park officials, river runners who have already launched downstream into Grand Canyon National Park will be able to complete their river trip. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area officials, who operate Lee’s Ferry, note that should the government shutdown go into effect, the closure of Lee’s Ferry will start with a “soft closure” beginning at 8:00 am, with a hard closure from noon on, after which no river trips will be allowed to launch.

Kansas river runner Hilary Esry won the river permit lottery last year for an October 7, 2013 launch date after first becoming interested in running Grand Canyon twenty years ago. “We have friends flying in from as far away as Alaska on non-refundable tickets and have spent over $17,000 so far in NPS fees, food and equipment rental. I have a contract with the Federal Government allowing me to launch, and so far, I have not been contacted from the National Park Service at all about a pending closure of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon” she said. “We expect to be on our own and except for the mandatory orientation at Lee’s Ferry, we do not expect to interface with anyone from the NPS. I can’t tell you how nerve wracking this is for our trip.”

The Grand Canyon National Park web site states there are sixteen river trips scheduled to launch in the first seven days of October. Thirteen of those trips are public trips while three are concession guided river trips. There are sixty-one river trips scheduled for the month of October, twelve of which are concessions trips and forty-nine are public trips.

Officials at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area also stated roadwork on the Lee’s Ferry road will continue, as the funds for that project are non-appropriated funds. River runners who have parked their vehicles at the long term parking lot at Lee’s Ferry will be allowed to retrieve their vehicles but this will require a law enforcement escort.

Fishing at Lee’s Ferry, including from the bank and by boat, both public and guided, will not be allowed. The smooth water concessions river trips from the base of Glen Canyon Dam downstream to Lee’s Ferry will also cease operation.

The same will happen at all National Parks. I was talking to the River Rangers for other parks and they fell like crap. People who have waited for months or in the Grand’s case for years may not get to experience the fun, adventure and beauty of a river trip through one of America’s treasurers.

Really, fishing is prohibited……


Increase in diving (neck) injuries in Colorado River, Grand Canyon NP.

In the last few weeks the NPS has responded to three shallow water diving incidents into the Colorado River. One of these (not involved with a river trip) resulted in devastating injuries. I’m hoping you might be able inform river guides of this disturbing trend by included a note in the boatman’s s quarterly or your guide email network.

In two of these incidents the patients were diving into the river from the shoreline impacting their heads into the bottom or unseen obstacles In the other incident a patient dove off the rear of a raft that was beached. While we continue to see extremity injury patterns from getting on and off the boats and during side hikes, these incidents usually don’t carry the potential for instantly catastrophic injury like shallow water diving does. Thanks for spreading the word for this watchout situation.

Brandon Torres

Branch Chief of Emergency Services

Grand Canyon National Park

office 928-638-7792928-638-7792

cell 928-607-6014928-607-6014


NPS now on NYC landmark boat tours

Statue Cruises Tour NowFeatures National Park Service Rangers

New York, NY – January 17, 2013 – Statue Cruises announces that National Park Service Rangers are now on board their daily harbor tours. As a new initiative, that started on January 13, 2013, the well-trained rangers will be on-deck and on-hand to lend their valuable expertise to passengers. Designed to enhance the educational aspect of the experience, the rangers will personally engage with passengers by assisting with inquiries and sharing their expert knowledge.

The daily Statue of Liberty Harbor Tours grant up-close views of famed New York City landmarks from the unique perspective of the city’s waterways. Iconic landmarks viewed during the tour include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9-11 Memorial, the South Street Seaport, Governors Island and the Brooklyn Bridge, among others. Departing every 30 minutes daily from 10:00am to 4:45pm, passengers can now expect to interact with uniformed rangers during their hour-long tour.

Statue Cruises COO, Mike Burke, believes the addition of the National Park Service Rangers will make the cruise more memorable for passengers. Burke states, “Visitors will not only enjoy the closest views of the Statue of Liberty but they will be able to learn about the National Monument from the experts themselves.”

Tickets for the narrated sightseeing tours are $24.00 (adults); $17.00 (seniors) and $12.00 (children). Tours depart daily from Battery Park at the foot of Manhattan. Prior to embarking, passengers can purchase tickets online at www.statuecruises.com, by phone at 201-604-2800, or at the seawall in Battery Park. For more information, please visit www.statuecruises.com.

About Statue Cruises

Statue Cruises, the official concessioner to the National Park Service, is the premier harbor cruise operator in New York Harbor, sharing the sights of New York with over 4.0 million annual visitors from around the world. For more information visit: www.statuecruises.com/pressroom.

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Public Input Received on LTEMP EIS Alternatives………long wait, big fight, stay involved

Public Input Received on LTEMP EIS Alternatives
***********************************************

The Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Serviceextended an opportunity for members of the public to provide input on LTEMP EIS alternatives after

Grand Canyon, Arizona. The canyon, created by ...

preliminary alternative concepts were published in a newsletter on March 30, 2012, and the agencies hosted a public workshop on alternatives in Flagstaff, Arizona on April 4 and 5, 2012. Input was received from the Basin States (consisting of the seven Colorado River Basin states and the Upper Colorado River Commission), the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (CREDA), the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association of Arizona (IEDA). This input can be viewed on the LTEMP EIS website at
http://ltempeis.anl.gov/news/index.cfm#PublicInput

The LTEMP joint-lead agencies are reviewing this material and using it to inform development of alternatives to be considered in the LTEMP EIS.

For More Information
********************

To learn more about how you can participate in the EIS process, visit the “Getting Involved” page of the LTEMP EIS Web Site
(http://ltempeis.anl.gov/involve/index.cfm).

If you have questions or need more information, contact the LTEMP EIS Webmaster at ltempeiswebmaster@anl.gov

Please forward this message to any party you feel may be interested in the LTEMP EIS.

_________________CONTACTS/SUBSCRIPTIONS________________

FEEDBACK

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NPS is chasing a squirrel up a tree and it’s lost in Canyonlands NP.

Outside parties suggest insurance limits of $5 million for concessionaires.

The National Park Service has hired outside firms to determine that concessionaires should have $5 million in liability insurancecoverage. The article does not say how

National Park Service emblem

that number was determined. However, how the limit was determined was wrong.

You determine the amount of insurance you need by determining your insurable interest. How much is your business worth? By that I mean you determine the value of your business, what is worth it, if you were to sell the business.   then buy a little more insurance than that.

Say your business is worth $1 million. Based on all the property, land, income, permits (which allegedly have no value) your CPA has determined that your business valuation is $1 million. You should buy $1.1 million in insurance coverage. Probably, you will end up buying $1.5 or $2 million because polices are rarely written for $1.1 million, usually just big round numbers.

Why? Because you are protecting what you own. That is what insurance is for, to protect an asset. You buy fire insurance to replace a building if it was to burn down. If it cost you $500,000 to rebuild the building, it would be stupid to insure the building for $400,000 and just as stupid to insure it for $600,000. In the first case, you would only have a $400,000 building when you were done, not what you needed. In the second case, you would have a $500,000 building and nothing more. You would have paid a premium on an extra $100,000 of insurance that you will never get.

You can’t insure what you don’t own or for an inflated value.

The same goes for liability insurance. Why insure your business for more than it is worth. All you want to do is keep your business. You don’t want to pay for insurance that you don’t need. All that does with liability insurance provide an incentive to sue and a bigger payoff if they do.  

The last think you want to do is to have less insurance than the value of your business. If your business is worth $1 million, and you have $500,000 in liability insurance, the plaintiff will sue and take your business. That is $500,000 more than your insurance.

You buy the amount of insurance that you need to protect your business from fire, wind, hail and lawsuits.

So what is the NPS going to do?

First, they could bankrupt large business that only buys the minimum to maintain their concession contract. If they are worth more than $5 million, then they will lose their business if a guest has a claim greater than $5 million.

The NPS may also bankrupt businesses if they ask a business with a value of $100,000 to buy a $5 million-dollar policy. They could not afford it.

The only people who will not suffer are those businesses that are worth more than $3.5 million. The $5 million limits are about right.

Based on the article, the NPS will bankrupt a lot of its concessionaires.

The NPS currently has 515 concession contracts in 130 parks, with 60 percent of those contracts generating less than $250,000 in annual revenue.

As stupid as that sounds, this quote from the “insurance professionals” that the NPS hired is even stupider from an insurance standpoint.

Insurance Journal obtained a copy of the Aon Global report dated January 11, 2011. “In our opinion, business operations that potentially could result in serious injury to multiple parties should consider liability limits of at least $5 million,” the Aon report says. “Based on the loss potential, we consider the $5 million limit to be reasonable for most river rafting and guide situations.”

Why is that a stupid statement? Because insurance claims are based on a real value in the end. You total the medical bills, the future medical bills, the lost wages and an amount for pain and suffering and that amount is what a claim amount boils down too. If 99% of your clients make about $50,000, a year and 99% of your injuries are sprained ankles than your claims limits would be $10,000. Someone who can’t work for months and only makes $50,000 a year would after one year out of work, only recover $40,000 or so. The amount earned is discounted because you would not have costs of working and there is a value of getting the money in one lump sum in advance.

To determine the insurance limits an actuary would look at claims. And the claims don’t justify the limits the “experts” are requesting.

Besides insurance is not based on what someone is owed, insurance is based on what you are worth as a business.

Based on the quote above, the value the “experts” came up with is based on a mythical future claim with multiple injured parties.

I’m still waiting for that to happen. Reality and the “experts” have not met. Read the article, the “experts” look pretty bad. Even worse, the NPS admitted that they had no claims like this in testimony before Congress.

Insurance is not determined by guesses or experts, except a business’s CPA. How much is the business worth that is the amount of insurance you need!

See New National Parks’ Insurance Requirements Ignite Controversy or New National Parks Outfitters & Guides Insurance Requirements.

For more articles on the insurance issues see: Insurance 101

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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