America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

September 24, 2012

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America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Legislation Would Require Canoe, Kayaks and Rafts to Have Capacity Ratings Subject to Coast Guard Regulation

NPS Issues Backcountry Healthy and Sustainable Food Choice Guidelines for Backcountry Operations

Featured AOA Conference Program: Convert Clicks to Sales

PPA Finalizes Plan to Unify with AOA

Discover Which Industry Segments and Products Were Hot in 2012

This Week's Online Course: Mobile Email

Legislation Would Require Canoe, Kayaks and Rafts to Have Capacity Ratings Subject to Coast Guard Regulation

S. 3537, the Boating Capacity Standards Act of 2012, is supposed to apply to vessels over 20 feet in length but a quirk in the drafting of the legislation makes it applicable to all recreational vessels, including rafts, canoes and kayaks under 20 feet.  The bill was introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer after the capsizing of a sailboat in New York waters during a July 4th fireworks display.  While Senator Schumer’s press release states that he introduced “legislation that would require the United States Coast Guard to develop capacity limits for recreational boats over 20 feet in length”, the legislative language makes the requirement much broader.  It does not include the under 20 foot exemption. The only exemption in the legislation is for Coast Guard “inspected” commercial vessels and “inspected vessels” carrying paying customers.  Rafts, canoes, kayaks and tubes are not inspected vessels, so the law would apply to these craft.  The bill is most likely a discussion draft designed to get feedback and reaction before being finalized.

As written all canoes, kayaks and rafts will be subject to Coast Guard regulations which will establish standards for determining “the maximum passenger capacity in whole number of passengers and in pounds for recreational vessels” and include:
• a requirement that each manufacturer of a passenger vessel post such maximum passenger capacity on the passenger vessel as described in subsection (b); and
• a requirement that each operator of a passenger vessel ensure that--
    * such maximum passenger capacity is posted as described in subsection (b) and legible to passengers; and
    * require notice of the need to balance the weight carried by the vessel to avoid capsizing is posted as described in subsection (b) and legible to passengers.

AOA is communicating with Senator Schumer’s office to confirm the bill’s intent and will let you know what you should do. We obviously do not think this bill is suitable for recreational paddle craft and rafting, nor does that appear to be the Senator’s intent.  No action is imminent since Congress has adjourned until after the election.


NPS Issues Backcountry Healthy and Sustainable Food Choice Guidelines for Backcountry Operations

Today NPS released guidelines to be used in developing contract requirements for healthy food offerings for backcountry operations.  The requirements are posted on the AOA website. The document just released by NPS states:  “These guidelines should be used to determine requirements for new contracts, following an analysis of what is technically and economically feasible and appropriate given services, location and other factors specific to the contract. These guidelines may also be used to identify criteria for existing contracts which can be applied on upon mutual agreement by the Service and the concessioner. Concessioners are also encouraged to voluntarily apply the guidelines where appropriate.”  NPS recognizes varying nutritional needs for different types of trips.  Still, many concessioners are critical of the requirements if they become the basis for deciding who gets contracts. 

Day trip guidelines
• Offer a choice of healthy meals and snacks that are lower in calories and lower in fat. Target healthy lunch calories are 400 calories, target snack calories are 150 calories.
• Offer fruits and vegetables with snacks and meals.
• Fruits and vegetables are seasonal, local or regionally produced when possible.
• If offered, use fat-free dairy products.
• Where grains are offered (e.g., bread for sandwiches), use whole grains.
• Of the beverage selection offered, several have no added sugar (i.e., high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, honey, sucrose, dextrose), such as natural fruit juices.

Multi-day trip guidelines
• Provide healthy meals and snacks that include a combination of calories, proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats appropriate to the level of activity. These may include low calorie, low sodium and low fat choice(s) within the more limited menu that may be offered.
• Offer all meals with at least one fruit or vegetable (use fresh where possible).
• Fat-free dairy products are used.
• Where grains are offered, use whole grains.
• Of the beverage selection offered, other than water, coffee, tea, and alcohol, several have no added sugar (i.e., high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, honey, sucrose, dextrose), such as natural fruit juice.
• Entrees have no artificial trans-fats.
• Meat, seafood and eggs have no hormones and no antibiotics added.
• Steam and grill food rather than using fat in cooking.
• Where seafood options are offered, provide only those that are “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives” on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list, certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, or identified by an equivalent program that has been approved by the NPS.
• Produce is seasonal, local or regionally produced when possible.
• Organic foods may be used.
• Coffee is fair-trade certified and shade grown.

Send your comments on the Guidelines to dbrown@americaoutdoors.org 

Featured AOA Conference Program: Convert Clicks to Sales with Advanced SEO and Google Analytics to Achieve and Measure Better Results

Panda, Penguin and the 500-600 anonymous Google search algorithm updates have made SEO more challenging. Achieving and maintaining better quality search results requires timely analytic, marketing and branding insight. As human and personalized rankings become the new algorithm cornerstones expect social and real-time search to play a bigger role in search marketing efforts. Links with historical and long term value will trump reciprocal link schemas while quality and newness of content will matter more than quantity. As search engine users become more sophisticated they don't want to browse, they want answers. Learn the techniques you need to successfully improve organic search sales. From using paid search strategies to incorporating rich snippet markup to naturally attracting more and better links without reciprocation, capitalize and convert clicks into sales. Presented by Jeremy Cameron, 12/4/2012.

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Discover Which Industry Segments and Products Were Hot in 2012

Take 5 minutes to complete the annual season outcome survey.  You’ll see the results instantly compiled from dozens of companies. 
 

PPA Finalizes Plan to Unify with AOA

On September 17, 2012 the PPA board and membership ratified a plan that will wrap up the unification of the two organizations over the next two months. AOA will begin serving PPA members and welcomes them to the fold.  After PPA members receive a notification from the PPA President, AOA will send a welcome mailing to PPA members explaining member benefits and other money saving options.

Mobile Email: The Time Is Now!

The number of people reading emails on mobile devices continues to grow. But getting emails to view properly on both desktops and smartphones is just the beginning. The real value of mobile email is the ability to deliver instant gratification--the specialty of the mobile device. Learn now to mobilize your email marketing program for your on-the-go customers. Click here to find out more. 

 

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