America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

April 8, 2012

New Zealand Government Announces Plan to Audit Adventure Companies' Safety Standards

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Get Risk Management-Ready for the Season; Resources Available to Members

OSHA Reminds Employers to Post Job Related Injuries

Misuse of Recreation Fees?  Please Send Us a Report

Do Your Full and Part-time Employees Add up to 50 FTE’s?  Start Projecting and Planning Now

Delaware Watergap Cuts Out Canoe Liveries Access Points Creates Uproar

Recreation Is Not an Emphasis of BLM’s NLCS Areas unless It's Designated as a Recreation Management Area

Budget Reconciliation Raised as a Possible Vehicle for Fee Bills and Gas Tax Increases

Get Risk Management-Ready for the Season; Resources Available to Members.

The unexpected happens to every company at some point and staff training is a key to preventing chaos.

AOA has several resources available to you. First and foremost, The Essential Risk Management Practices DVD covers many essential elements of risk management, which is of particular value as you hire and train employees in the early season. 

Get it today on line at the special member price of $99.

There is also a free emergency response plan and communication plan available in Member Resources under Risk Management on the AOA website.  You will need additional resources to comply with state and federal requirements, but these resources should get you started.  Remember to always consult with a competent risk management attorney familiar with the laws and requirements in your state before finalizing any risk management strategies.

OSHA Reminds Employers to Post Job Related Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers to post OSHA Form 300A, which lists a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2012. The form must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2013.

The summary must include the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2012 and were logged on OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. To assist in calculating incidence rates, information about the annual average number of employees and total hours worked during the calendar year is also required. If a company recorded no injuries or illnesses in 2012, the employer must enter "zero" on the total line. The form must be signed and certified by a company executive. Form 300A should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness record keeping and posting requirements. A complete list of exempt industries in the retail, services, finance, insurance and real estate sectors can be found at http://s.dol.gov/YP.

All employers covered by the OSH Act (OSHA) must orally report to OSHA the death of any employee from a work-related incident or the in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees as a result of a work-related incident within eight (8) hours. Employers with more than ten employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301.

Misuse of Recreation Fees?  Please Send Us a Report.

As the authority for outfitter and guide permits and recreation fees comes up for renewal in 2014, we are looking for situations where recreation fees in National Forests, BLM or NPS areas have been diverted inappropriately to fund non recreation projects. Building some accountability for the use of fees into the recreation fee reauthorization will be important to ensure that those fees are used appropriately.

Do Your Full and Part-time Employees Add up to 50 FTE’s?  Start Projecting and Planning Now.

If you have a substantial number of full-time year around staff and part-timers, you’ll want to be sure you know your status under the so-called Affordable Care Act. If you expect to be over 50 FTE’s, you’ll need to start planning now.

A great guide to help you determine if you are a large employer including part-time workers can be found at J.W.Terrill. The article outlines the rules and calculations necessary to determine if you are large employer under the Affordable Care Act and subject to the employer mandates for offering coverage to your employees.

Delaware Watergap Cuts Out Canoe Liveries Access Points, Creates Uproar

NPS is restricting access to squeeze outfitters and recreationists in an effort to generate more support for their budget after sequestration. Outfitters on the Delaware River in Delaware Watergap National Recreation Area are reporting that NPS plans to close two important access points that are vital to their operations. NPS plans to close Milford Beach and Kittatinny Point which will eliminate the six mile canoe trip, making the shortest available trip ten miles in length. Livery operators say the closures eliminate many families from enjoying the experience and predict a 25% reduction in business. Trip time is extended from 3 ½ hours to over 5 hours.

Park Superintendent John Donahue says collecting trash at the access points every weekend is too expensive. He is also concerned that people swim there and NPS never intended for the public to enjoy swimming at the location.

We predict the negative reaction from the public will cause Mr. Donahue to find a portion of the required 5% spending reduction somewhere else. He said he would review the decision.

Recreation Is Not an Emphasis of BLM’s NLCS Areas unless It's Designated as a Recreation Management Area

A big omnibus lands bill is expected to be introduced in the this session of Congress, so it is important for you to understand what's at stake and how to ensure that outfitting and recreation remain important considerations after the area is designated.   This is especially true for Wilderness and BLM NLCS designations. 

Read this quote from the Recreation and Visitors Service Manual for the National Landscape Conservation System, which includes National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, National Conservation Area and Wild and Scenic Rivers:  "Public lands that are not designated as RMAs are managed to meet basic R&VS and resource stewardship needs. Recreation is not emphasized, however recreation activities may occur except on those lands closed to public use. The R&VS are managed to allow recreation uses that are not in conflict with the primary uses of these lands."  (underlining added). 

For recreation to be an emphasis (a primary consideration) and for recreation special use permits to be available, the management plan for the area must specifically identify those areas. Historical uses are probably best protected in an extensive recreation management area (ERMA). 

Designation of Recreation Management Areas:
The RMA is a land unit where Recreation and Visitor Services (R&VS) objectives are recognized as a primary resource management consideration and specific management is required to protect the recreation opportunities. The RMA designation is based on: recreation demand and issues, recreation setting characteristics, resolving use/user conflicts, compatibility with other resource uses, and resource protection needs.

The recreation management area (RMA) is designated as either a special recreation management area (SRMA) or an extensive recreation management area (ERMA). SRMAs recognize unique and distinctive recreation values and are managed to enhance a targeted set of activities, experiences, benefits, and recreation setting characteristics, which becomes the priority management focus. ERMAs recognize existing recreation use, demand, or R&VS program investments and are managed to sustain principal recreation activities and associated qualities and conditions of the ERMA, commensurate management with other resources and resource uses.

The proposed Brown’s Canyon National Monument legislation relieves many of these concerns by excluding the Arkansas River from the Monument’s boundaries while protecting the surrounding area as Wilderness. The area is also withdrawn as a site for mineral extraction. Recreation is one of the purposes of the Monument but the agency will probably still have to designate RMA's within the monument for recreation to be a primary consideration in light of the other purposes for the Monument.

Budget Reconciliation Raised as a Possible Vehicle for Fee Bills and Gas Tax Increases

With the Congressional Budget Office predicting that the Highway Trust Fund will be bankrupt by 2014, a proposal for a 15 cent per gallon increase in federal gasoline taxes is predicted. Some are proposing a penny of the gas tax for National Parks and to Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Crumbling infrastructure, improvements in fuel economy and diminished driving have the Highway Trust Fund teetering on bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, states are raising their gas taxes to cover their shortfalls. In July California will surpass New York with the highest gas tax in the nation at 70 cents per gallonA Budget Reconciliation Bill could include many items, including reauthorization of the Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act. The worrisome element of budget reconciliation is that bills get thrown into it, sometime without a hearing, and if the rules remain the same the bill will not be subject to amendment or filibuster. The House and Senate would have to agree on reconciliation, which is according to some, a long shot.

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