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July 30, 2007

America Outdoors E-News

  Update on Parks and Forests Fee Bill
Update on Parks and Forests Fee Bill Good News on PCI Compliance for Outfitters Taking Credit Card Reservation via the Internet
       
Update on Parks and Forests Fee Bill
  Last week we advised you of two bills introduced in the House of Representatives designed to raise money from commercial activities on federally-managed lands. H.R. 3058 would raise $4 billion from commercial activities in national forests over five years to support county governments and schools in areas where there are national forests. H.R. 3094 would raise $100 million per year for the National Park Centennial Initiative to increase educational activities, increase diversity in Parks, train NPS personnel and rehabilitate park facilities. New fees and increased fees on commercial activities in areas managed by the Secretary of Interior will fund the Park Service initiative.

While the sponsors have not divulged which commercial activities will be subject to new fees, it is our understanding that they do not intend to include fees from outfitters and guides in an amended version of the bill. Congressman Rahall is a long-time friend of outfitters. However, there are issues with each bill and since the sources of commercial activity are limited in each case, we will have to remain vigilant and active on these two bills.

HR. 3094
Amendments hostile to our interests may be offered by others. For example, there is already controversy about the strategy in H.R. 3094 to raise money from BLM lands to support national parks. If those sources are eliminated, the primary source of the funding is NPS concessions.

H.R. 3058
Currently, fees from commercial activities on national forests and grasslands generate about $500 million annually. Those receipts would have to double or be taken out of the agency budget and dedicated to rural counties in the first year after enactment to reach the goals in the bill. In FY 2006, recreation special uses generated $48 million and recreation enhancement act receipts (passed in 2004) generated another $58 million bringing total receipts from recreation fees in national forests to over $106 million. (It should be noted that the Forest Service is currently rewriting their fee policy for outfitters and guides. Don't expect a decrease.) Receipts from timber harvesting and timber salvage sales generated $151 million and minerals generated $76 million from national forests and grasslands in FY 2006. Grazing generated $6 million. Given this information, it is hard to see where $4 billion will come from even if fees from non recreation sources, such as timber and mineral extraction, are doubled unless all those fees are dedicated to the counties and taken out of the agency budget, which would lead to budget shortfalls.

We will keep you advised of the situation. A hearing on H.R. 3094 is scheduled for August 2nd.

Good News on PCI Compliance for Outfitters Taking Credit Card Reservation via the Internet
  Good news for America Outdoors members! AAMS has postponed implementation of the PCI non-response fee to at least January. This should provide relief for members immersed in their busy summer season. All credit card processors will require PCI compliance in the future but some may not advised their merchants of the new requirements.

To clarify the requirements, merchants that use dial terminals for processing and do not store credit card information on a computer only need to complete the Self-Assessment Questionnaire. Members can obtain an abbreviated version (15 questions) from SecurityMetrics for a nominal fee. SecurityMetrics can be reached at 1-800-557-4797 or at their website of www.securitymetrics.com. If members chose to complete the questionnaire independently, PDF and Word versions can be located at https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/tech/supporting_documents.htm. Completed questionnaires should be emailed to melane@aams.com
Here are some additional considerations for merchants utilizing networks, websites, or store credit card information. These members will be required to have vulnerability scans performed and submit the results to AAMS. The guidelines below are commonly referred to as the Digital Dozen. Many of the guidelines would benefit all applications, not just credit card data.

Build and Maintain a Secure Network
Requirement 1: Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
Requirement 2: Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
Protect Cardholder Data
Requirement 3: Protect stored cardholder data
Requirement 4: Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
Requirement 5: Use and regularly update anti-virus software
Requirement 6: Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

Implement Strong Access Control Measures
Requirement 7: Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know
Requirement 8: Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
Requirement 9: Restrict physical access to cardholder data

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
Requirement 10: Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
Requirement 11: Regularly test security systems and processes

Maintain an Information Security Policy
Requirement 12: Maintain a policy that addresses information security

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America Outdoors® Inc., PO Box 10847, Knoxville, TN, 37939

America Outdoors Staff Title E-mail address
David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
Robin Brown Communications Director robin@americaoutdoors.org
Office Phone 865-558-3595
Office Fax 865-558-3598

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