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America Outdoors Association

September 22, 2010

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America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Most AOA Members See Some Improvement in Profits in 2010

BLM Considering Establishment of 2.5 million Acre Bison Range in Montana

NPS Intermountain Region Director John Wessels to Offer Views on the Future of Outfitter Concessions in Region at Confluence

Check out the National Debt Clock -- This Site Has Lots of Cool Stuff

Smith Travel Research (STR) Finds Modest Improvement in Hotel Occupancy and RevPAR.  Luxury Market Improving

AOA Signs Letter with over 80 Other Recreation Groups including the Association of Retired Forest Service Employees

Most AOA Members See Some Improvement in Profits in 2010.

With over 113 companies reporting, the Market Outcome Survey for 2010 shows that over 51% of AOA member saw some improvement in profits in 2010.  But the results vary by market segment with rafting day trips showing the best results. To complete the survey and see all the results instantly click here
Overall Profit Performance Chart

BLM Considering Establishment of 2.5 million Acre Bison Range in Montana

On Sept. 16, 2010, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Robert Abbey acknowledged he wrote a leaked memo that indicates BLM is considering the creation of a 2.5 million acre bison range/preserve across Montana and eight other states and that would extend to and adjoin Canada.  The proposed range would be created as a National Monument under the Antiquities Act or established through the Treasured Landscape Initiative.  The area would likely be included in the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS).

BLM’s NLCS includes over 886 federally recognized areas and approximately 27 million acres of National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails, and Conservation Lands of the California Desert.  The NLCS was officially authorized by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 to “conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations.”  Recreation is not a value for which the NLCS was created except that fishing and hunting opportunities may not be diminished because by the Act that established the NLCS.  Other forms of recreation must be a purpose of the designated area or they will likely be subservient to the other values for which the areas were designated.  A new Wild and Scenic River will automatically be included in the NLCS.

Although the NLCS has been around for ten years, the legislative authorization seems to shift some of its priorities away from managing landscapes in part to support local communities to a preservation mission.

NPS Intermountain Region Director John Wessels to Offer Views on the Future of Outfitter Concessions in Region at Confluence

The new National Park Service Intermountain Region Director, John Wessels has accepted our invitation to speak at a highly interactive session with outfitter concessioners on December 7th at AOA’s Marketing and Management Conference in Salt Lake City.  AOA is very excited about this opportunity for our members to meet the new director.

Check out the National Debt Clock -- This Site Has Lots of Cool Stuff

According to the Debt Clock at the non partisan US Debt Clock.org, the national debt (not to be confused with the annual budget deficit) is approximately $121,367 per taxpayer or a total of $13.5 trillion dollars.  The calculation is based on U. S. government data.  The total national debt is adding up so fast it is hard to quote exact figures.  The clock on Debt Clock.org seems to run a little faster than the debt clock on government sites but the totals are almost the same.  Truth is no one really knows the real number when you’re counting in the trillions.

Japan has the highest national debt to GDP ratio, followed by Greece, Italy, Germany, Portugal, the U.K. and the U.S.

Based on data from the Federal Reserve, the average personal debt per citizen is $52,181, which seems high but it includes home mortgage debt as well as other types of debt.

Smith Travel Research (STR) Finds Modest Improvement in Hotel Occupancy and RevPAR.  Luxury Market Improving.

According to their website, STR August 2010 Report found “in year-over-year measurements, the (hotel) industry’s occupancy was up 6.4 percent to 63.9 percent. Average daily rate ended the month with a 1.5-percent increase to US$98.69.  Revenue per available room for the month rose 8.1 percent to finish at US$63.08.”  STR reported stronger growth in the luxury segment.  However, since RevPAR declined significantly during the recession, many hotels are not up to pre-recessions levels.

Hotel occupancy and RevPar are key indicators of travel trends. 

AOA Signs Letter with over 80 Other Recreation Groups including the Association of Retired Forest Service Employees Asking for Stronger Role for Recreation in Forest Service Planning Regulations

The Forest Service is rewriting the framework which will determine how future plans for National Forests are written.  After four workshops about the proposed planning regulations, the output of the final roundtable discussion appeared to diminish the status of recreation in the future of National Forest planning.  Recreation was not one of the primary principals proposed in the output of the final roundtable document.  Recreation was included under “people and the environment”.  Participants in the roundtables believe the planning rule focus was on biodiversity and climate change.  Past Forest Service Recreation Directors have stated off the record that recreation was not a priority of the agency despite the fact that it is the agency’s primary output and contributor to GDP.  Secretary Vilsack has made restoring rural economies a tenet of his tenure as Secretary of Agriculture and the economic benefits of recreation in National Forests are undeniable.  Recreation deserves to be a primary goal of Forest planning.  

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