Growing, Protecting and Supporting America's Outfitting Businesses
Contact  |  About  |  Advertise with Us  |  Join  |   Login

America Outdoors

In what is a good sign for the future of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act reauthorization, H.R. 5204 was marked-up July 30 in the House Committee on Natural Resources by unanimous consent, meaning there were no objections to the bill from anyone on the committee. The bill had complete bipartisan support. It now heads to the House floor, possibly as part of a package of non controversial bills or as an addition to other legislation, where it could also be passed by unanimous consent if there are no objections to it.

AOA led efforts to get the bill revised and passed out of committee with Congressional testimony from AOA's Executive Director, Utah outfitter Brian Merrill, and NOLS Public Policy Director Aaron Bannon testifying on behalf of a revision to the original draft at the April 4, 2014 hearing. We thank Representative Bishop (R-UT) and Representative DeFazio (D-OR) for working together to get this bill through the Committee.

The final bill includes the following changes that are favorable to the outfitting industry:

 1.    Provides a waiver from NEPA for outfitting and guiding when the use has been previously analyzed and is similar and not substantially increased over the previous authorization. This provision will help greatly with cost recovery and is a major improvement.
 2.    Allows one permit to be issued by a lead agency when trips cross multiple agency boundaries.
 3.    Sets fees for outfitters as follows:
              C) Fee conditions.--The fee charged by the Secretary for a permit issued under paragraph (2)(B) (that's outfitter permits) shall not exceed 3 percent of the recreational service provider's annual gross revenue for activities authorized by the permit, plus applicable revenue additions, minus applicable revenue exclusions or a similar flat per person fee. This definition should eliminate basing the fees on the total cost of the trip, including services delivered outside the Forest, for example.
 4.    Authorizes a pilot program for fee credits for trail maintenance.  
 5.    Allows outfitters to reveal the fees paid to agencies to their customers when trip prices are presented.
 6.    Requires agencies to notify Congress and give public notice of fee sites.
 7.    Every other year agencies will take input on how the fees are being used.
 8.    Any new or increased amenity and day use fees have to be approved by Congress. (This is a significant change).
 9.    Grandfathers existing permits once the law passes. They remain in effect until they expire.
10.   Authorizes the use of outfitter and guide permit fees for permit administration and to be used to streamline permitting processes.  
11.   Requires agencies to report fees by 
    a.    total recreational fee revenue collected by type;
    b.    expenditures by project from these accounts; 
    c.    a description of how expenditure benefited visitors to the unit;
    d.    any new fees established; and
    e.    any changes in existing fees.


Outfitter Membership
Vendor Membership
Conference Information

We do not sell email addresses.
The Captcha image


AOA Conference Dec 4 - 7 Daytona Beach, FL

AOA is the national association of outfitters and guides and their suppliers. Check out our list of members.

Become an America Outdoors Member

The Manager’s Academy is a 2-day intensive course for new and emerging managers and supervisors in the outdoor recreation industry.  It will take place Tuesday April 10 - Wednesday April 11. The program is located in beautiful Grand Junction, CO. 


Become an America Outdoors Member

Member Benefits

Save Money on Exclusive Benefits

  • Free Business Kit with membership
  • Savings on credit card processing rates
  • The AOA Shipping Discount Program
  • 5% to 15% savings on liability insurance
  • Payroll Management Services
  • Pro Plans


Legislation & Regulation

Legislation & Regulation:

  • Minimum Wage for Federal Permits
  • Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act reauthorization
  • Expansion of Overtime
  • Latest on Paddlesports Skill Standards
  • Log-in to Outfitter Member Resources for Complete Access to Need-to-Know Documents

     <<Read More>>

Risk Management

Risk Management:

  • Save 5% to 15% on Liability Insurance
  • White Paper:  Liability in Paddlesports Rental
  • Essential Risk Management Practices DVD
  • Brief on Use of Background Checks

     <<Read More>>


Advertise with America Outdoors Association

America Outdoors
  America Outdoors Address  PO Box 10847, Knoxville, TN 37939
  America Outdoors Phone  1-800-524-4814

America Outdoors Facebook   America Outdoors RSS


©2018 America Outdoors Association