America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

October 25, 2012

 Click the Flamingo to Register today for the AOA Conference!

AOA's Marketing & Management Conference

December 4 - 6, 2012
Daytona Beach, FL.

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Interesting Comments on the NPS Healthy Foods Initiative for Backcountry Operations

Expert to Explain Opportunities and Obligations under the Affordable Care Act

Regulatory Changes to Commercial Motor Vehicle Regulations to be Discussed

Having Trouble Making Reservations?  Plenty of Doubles Remain

Interesting Comments on the NPS Healthy Foods Initiative for Backcountry Operations

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (JHMG) appreciates the opportunity to comment on these proposed guidelines. We are a concessioner in Grand Teton National Park, whose activities would fall under the Guided Backcountry Multi-Day Trip. As such we will limit our comments to that category.

We believe that while these guidelines are well-intentioned, they are inappropriate for Guided Backcountry Multi-Day Trips and raise numerous other concerns.

In regard to Guided Backcountry Multi-Day Trips, it is critical to remember that many other factors specific to the trip and the individual(s) on it must take precedence to specific guidelines. Such trips may be 2 days to 20 days (e.g., Denali expeditions).…..or longer. Key elements in keeping a client nourished and strong are: 1) the food is palatable for the individual (so all calories carried are consumed); 2) food is dense with high calories per weight and space (for packing purposes); 3) food resists damage by heat, cold or packing. Finally, to keep these experiences affordable and accessible to a broader spectrum of people, the cost of food cannot be so high that trip prices have to jump.

Keeping in mind the factors listed above, the examples suggested in the Guided Multi-Day Backcountry trip are problematic. Numerous people are allergic to nuts and peanuts (hence peanut butter), immediately eliminating these foods as appropriate for those individuals. Sweet potatoes, if fresh, are heavy (due to moisture), consume significant fuel in cooking (thus additional weight for backpacking), and are not readily accessible at a reasonable price if freeze-dried. Eggs, in natural form, are difficult to pack effectively in a backpack and have a limited shelf-life unrefrigerated. They have limited and mixed palatability in powder form. Offering all meals with a fruit or vegetable is likewise not always feasible or appropriate. For example, when faced with getting down a breakfast at 3 a.m., prior to a summit attempt, most people are challenged to swallow a basic protein and carbs breakfast, leave alone a fruit or vegetable; few are clamoring for fruit or vegetable at 3 a.m. and of utmost importance is that adequate calories are consumed. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables quickly spoil and become inedible after exposure to freezing temperatures frequently encountered in the mountains. 

In closing, establishing “one size fits all” guidelines simply does not make sense when activities vary, participants vary, conditions vary. Clients will be best served by allowing guides to respond to individual needs and market pressures.  Comment of this article.

Comments to NPS are due by tomorrow October 26th.  Send them to kurt_rausch@nps.gov

Expert to Explain Opportunities and Obligations under the Affordable Care Act

2014 will mark full implementation of most of the Affordable Care Act, also known as health care reform. IRS just released its guidance on the treatment of seasonal employees and how they will count toward that magic number of 50 full-time equivalents (FTE’s), which obligates companies to provide coverage or pay assessments of $2,000 or more. This issue also applies to the tax credits allowed for providing coverage for companies with 25 employees or less.  Recording keeping and other reporting requirements will have to be in place at the end of 2013 and you’ll need to know how to budget, calculate and plan for the costs if you have more than 50 FTE’s.  Use of the Exchanges to buy insurance for small business will emerge. You’ll learn all this and more on December 6th at 1:00 PM at the AOA Marketing and Management Conference in Daytona Beach, FL.

Regulatory Changes to Commercial Motor Vehicle Regulations to be Discussed

MAP-21, also known as the highway bill, included many changes in the regulation of commercial motor vehicles (cmv’s), such as sharply increased penalties for operating as an interstate for hire carrier of passengers without a motor carrier authorization (MC registration is in addition to a DOT number).  One provision also makes operating on federal lands within your state the equivalent of interstate commerce and ratchets up the regulation to the federal requirements even if your state has not adopted them for intrastate cmv’s and their drivers.  We’ll have an attorney in Daytona Beach for the roundtable discussions to discuss all the new rules, including the proficiency exam for motor carrier authorizations, which may be implemented.  You don’t want to miss these important discussions.

Plenty of Rooms with Double Beds Remain

There are plenty of double rooms available for the AOA/PPA conference in Daytona! The Hilton is sold out of king bed rooms in our roomblock, so the online form wiil not take a reservation for a king room.

If you need help making reservations because you cannot get the rooms you need (especially for larger groups), contact SUSAN DAVIS, Group Room Coordinator, HILTON DAYTONA BEACH RESORT / OCEAN WALK VILLAGE t: +1 386 947 8078    f: +1 386 253 8841

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