America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

April 26, 2010

Ted Hatch
Ted Hatch at the oars in 2008.

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Services for Ted Hatch Held Over the Weekend

Ballot Initiative to Eliminate Hunting Licenses Set-Aside in Montana Coming Down to the Wire

9 to 15 Passenger Van Regulations – A Reminder to Be Prepared

Growing Demand – Marketing and Management in the New Economy

DOL and IRS to Scrutinize Misclassification of Independent Contractors

Environmental Stewardship Awards

Services for Ted Hatch Held Over the Weekend

One of the legendary figures in the river outfitting world, Ted Hatch, collapsed and died last week.  He was 76 years old.  Services for Ted were held last weekend and reports from those who attended described it as a wonderful send off for someone who was cherished by the outfitting industry. Ted, a pilot, was saluted by a fly-over of small planes at the memorial service.

In their article on Ted’s death the Salt Lake Tribune said Ted ran his last river last summer when he rowed his own boat down the Main Salmon on a trip with his family.  Ted had been outfitting since 1967 when he and his brother Don took over after their dad Bus Hatch died.  Ted's son Steve Hatch is carrying on the tradition as an outfitter in Grand Canyon.  

Bus, who founded Hatch River Expeditions, was a true pioneer of the Utah rafting industry. In the 1950’s the Hatch family was instrumental in stopping dams in Dinosaur National Monument.  We will print more about this history in an upcoming newsletter. We offer our sincere condolences to the family.

Ballot Initiative to Eliminate Hunting License Set-Aside in Montana Coming Down to the Wire

The proponent of I-161, a ballot initiative to eliminate the relatively small percentage of hunting licenses set aside for outfitters, has garnered about 5,000 of the needed 24,377 signatures by June 18th.  Mac Minard, executive director of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (MOGA), says the industry is still under imminent threat since the proponent has ramped up the effort to garner signatures by hiring signature gatherers who Minard says are willing to say just about anything to get a signature.  MOGA is considering legal action against the group alleging deceptive practices to gain signatures.

MOGA needs your help.  Donate to the effort.  Go to 

9 to 15 Passenger Van Regulations – A Reminder to Be Prepared

With the arrival of spring, inspectors typically launch their efforts to inspect your compliance with regulations regarding 9 to 15 passenger vans. We thought we’d remind you of the regulatory requirements.  The rules and regulations regarding 9 to 15 passenger vans used as commercial motor vehicles have not changed if the vehicles are part of an outfitter operation and not providing transport for “direct compensation”.  However, if the vans are used to transport passengers for a fee for the transportation service only (direct compensation), you do have to comply with new regulations by June 1, 2010.  

For 9 to 15 passenger vans used in operations where the compensation is indirect, a summary of the requirements can be found below.
Not For Direct Compensation
Motor carriers operating 9 to 15 passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles not for direct compensation, regardless of the distance traveled, are required to file a motor carrier identification report, mark their commercial motor vehicles with the USDOT identification number, and maintain an accident register. Find this page at:

The Members Area of the AOA website has a convenient search function.  Enter a keyword, such as “van” and all the articles and rules related to 9 to 15 passenger vans will appear.

Growing Demand – Marketing and Management in the New Economy

Mark your calendar for the AOA Marketing and Management Conference in Salt Lake City, December 7 – 9.  We promise some surprises that will help sync your vision for your company to the realities of the new economy.

The programming will provide tools and strategies to:

• Grow your revenues
• Reduce your costs
• Diminish your exposure to loss
• Protect against unreasonable regulations and fees
• Operate professionally and responsibly with respect for the environment.

The 2010 AOA Trade Show is selling fast. Click herre to see the Exhibitor List.  Two thirds of the available booth space has been sold.

Environmental Stewardship Awards Note: 
The URL for the nomination form for Environmental Stewardship Awards for Concessioners passed on to us by the National Park Service does not appear to be working for the time being.  We’ll let you know when it is active.

DOL and IRS to Scrutinize Misclassification of Independent Contractors

Businesses that utilize independent contractors should be ready for increased scrutiny. As part of President Obama’s federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year, $25 million was requested by the Department of Labor (DOL) to enforce wage and hour laws and pursue employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors. Another $12 million and 90 new investigators were requested by the Wage and Hour Division to expand its efforts to ensure workers are in compliance with the law.

The “Misclassification Initiative” also supports new targeted efforts to recoup unpaid payroll taxes due to misclassification through state audits of problem industries supported by federal audits. These industries include: construction, manufacturing, restaurants and home health care. Additionally, the initiative includes a $10.9 million pilot program that would reward the states that are the most successful or improved at detecting and prosecuting employers that fail to pay the appropriate taxes due to worker misclassification.

In addition to the DOL, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be scrutinizing independent contractor arrangements. As part of a National Research Project on employment taxes, the IRS is due to audit 6,000 randomly selected companies over the next three years. The audit will focus on, among other things, worker classification. Given the potential liability for penalties, taxes and interest, businesses must pay close attention to this issue. Employers should engage in proactive self-audits, reviewing, among other things, their payroll records and IRS Form 1099s to identify those they have been paying as independent contractors and assess whether these individuals meet the requirements established by federal and state law.

For more information, please contact the following Barnes & Thornburg LLP attorneys: Jeremy B. Lewin at or Paula C. Goedert at You can also visit us online at

Key words:  van legislation, CDL, commercial drivers license

America Outdoors Association
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Knoxville, TN 37939

Phone: 1-800-524-4814

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