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America Outdoors Association

May 5, 2011

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America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Essential Practices Risk Management DVD for Outfitters and Adventure Travel Businesses

Senate Transportation Committee Approves Motorcoach Bill with Modified CDL Language

Ruling Against Forest Service Awards $1.95 Million to Family Whose Son Was Killed by Bear in Campground.

Utah Sues to Stop Implementation of BLM Wild Lands Initiative

Essential Practices Risk Management DVD for Outfitters and Adventure Travel Businesses Released

The new DVD, Essential Risk Management Practices for Your Outdoor Recreation or Adventure Travel Business, was released today by America Outdoors Association and is ready for immediate delivery. The DVD provides management and front line staff with strategies to deal with emerging risk management issues.  Risk management defense attorney Tracey Knutson developed the content based on actual court cases with action shots and other footage provided by Marni Productions and AOA members.

The DVD segments cover:

  • Post Incident Response from “What to do”, “What to prepare for”, “What to collect” and more.
  • Safety Talks and Orientation including “Content”, “Meshing with Marketing Representations”, and other issues.
  • Minors.  “Rule of 7”, strategies to protect yourself against claims when releases are invalid, standards in the industry and much more.
  • Marketing Representations.  “Taking reservations and oral representations”, “Words to avoid in promotional materials”, “When third parties are selling your products”, and more.
  • Employment. “Screening employees”, “Independent contractors v. employees”, “Drug testing issues”, “Termination”, “Employee files”. 
     

The 90-minute DVD was produced by America Outdoors Association.  The essential practices covered by the DVD are applicable to any company providing outdoor recreation services or renting equipment to the public.  The professionally produced DVD is designed to focus the attention of staff on the most critical elements of recreation risk management.

In describing the DVD, Tracey Knutson said, “Risk is a multi-faceted issue for businesses – especially in the recreation world where the product involves activities that have inherent and other risks.  A reasonably prudent business operator has to assess and manage these various risks. This DVD is unique to outdoor recreation.  It provides many hard-to-find strategies for the most important and challenging risks that recreation businesses face.  That comprehensiveness is really its value. “

America Outdoors Executive Director David Brown said, “Tracey’s work on this project will be invaluable to the companies who use the DVD.  Much of the content is based on her trial experience and practices found throughout the industry.” 

To order the DVD go to http://www.americaoutdoors.org/risk_management/ or call 800-524-4814 to order by phone.

Senate Transportation Committee Approves Motorcoach Bill with Modified CDL Language

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation approved an amended version of S. 453, the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2011.  As introduced, this legislation focused primarily on improving motorcoach safety.  However, one provision of the bill would have required the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue regulations requiring drivers of 9 to 15 passenger vans operated in interstate commerce to have new, more stringent commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).  In response to concerns raised by America Outdoors Association, lodging operators, and others, the version of the legislation approved by the Committee included a compromise provision that instead would require DOT to submit a plan to Congress for requiring that “all or certain classes of drivers” have a CDL in order to operate a 9 to 15 passenger van in interstate commerce. Read More....


Ruling Against Forest Service Awards $1.95 Million to Family Whose Son Was Killed by Bear in Campground.

Although the Department of Justice, representing the Forest Service, claimed the United States was immune from litigation in the case, a Federal Judge awarded $1.95 million to the parents of Sam Ives after he was killed by a black bear in an agency campground in 2007.  Justice said it was not clear that a warning was justified since no one had ever been killed in Utah by a black bear.  According to Court Documents, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball said the Forest Service had a duty to warn the family that a dangerous bear was in the area.  The judge said the family proved “by a preponderance of evidence” that the family should have been warned by signs, verbal warnings or roping off campsites.  The same bear had already ripped open a tent at the same campsite, hit another camper in the head, and torn up coolers earlier that weekend.....Read More

Utah Sues to Stop Implementation of BLM Wild Lands Initiative

On May 3rd, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert announced that the State of Utah had filed suit to stop the Department of Interior from implementing the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Lands initiative (Secretarial Order 3310).  Governor Herbert says the designation invalidates years of collaboration and planning to arrive at management plans and that Interior has no statutory authority for the Order.  The suit is intended to set aside the Order, the management manuals developed to implement it, and require the BLM to follow existing Resource Management Plans.  Utah’s attorney general said the Order violates an existing settlement agreement between the Department of Interior and the State and is an attempt to circumvent Congressional authority to designate wilderness.

Congress had already stripped funding for implementation of the Wild Lands initiative.  Secretary Salazar met with Republicans members of Congress yesterday and said he will decide in 10 days on how to proceed with cataloging lands under his jurisdiction.
 

 

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