America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

October 24, 2011

Register now for the AOA conference!

December 6-8, in Reno, Nevada.

Host Hotel:
The Silver Legacy Resort

Group Code  AMOUT

Event Venue: Reno Ballroom

Trade Show Venue: Reno Events Center

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Put WOW! into Your Camp Cooking  -- New Program Addition to the AOA Conference

Forest Service Proposed Rule Limit Appealable Decisions and Shortens the Time to Submit Appeals

Resources Committee Makes Recommendations to the Supercommittee.  Hearings on Wilderness Bills Scheduled This Week

Put WOW! into Your Camp Cooking  -- New Program Addition to the AOA Conference

When your guests say, “this is the best I’ve eaten all year!” you’ve passed the WOW test.  You are well on the way to creating great evangelists for your services.  Meals are a critical part of every outfitter’s service.  The dining experience helps create the social bonds that last long after the trip.

This session will be led by Sheila Mills, author of 4 award-winning camp cookbooks (McGraw Hill).  Food and guides are the center piece of Rocky Mountain River Tours customer service strategy.  They have achieved a level of excellence that finds them sold out almost every year (yes, no space left).  You don’t have to operate a river company or be cooking in camp to benefit from this session.  You’ll come away with new ideas on how to thrill your guests with excellent food and service.

Planning a 6-day menu for the season
• Finding resources for products based on quality, cost, and availability.
• Using local food items
• Organizing, prepping.
• Packing food for 30 people for 6-days in 1 hour and 45 minutes
Meals in camp
• Menu’s and entrees
• Great ideas for salads, side dishes, appetizers with minimum prep
• Lunch variations
• Accommodating special diets and allergies
• The magic ingredient for all meals:  the Guides.  Training strategies for customer service, cooking, display, and informing guests about unique food items.
End of Trip
• Great end of the trip strategies to reinforce the good times and great memories.
Sharing what you do best
• Great recipe ideas
• Innovative ideas
• What’s unique about what you do?  Share your wow factor.

You’ll have a chance to sign-up and chat with other in attendance so you can keep the conversation going after this session.  Sheila’s latest book, THE OUTDOOR DUTCH OVEN COOKBOOK, SECOND EDITION includes more than 255 original recipes and is available on

Forest Service Proposed Rule Limits Appealable Decisions and Shortens the Time to Submit Appeals

On October 11, 2012 the Forest Service published a proposed rule titled: Appeal of Decisions Relating to Occupancy or Use of National Forest System Lands and Resources.  Despite the agency’s proclamation about the rule simplifying the appeal process, the proposed changes shorten the window of time to file an appeal after a decision has been made.  Some of the most critical changes are provided below.
• The time frame to file an appeal after an appealable decision is reduced from 45 days to 30 days.
• Only the decisions listed in the rule are subject to appeal.  It does not appear that operating plans are appealable, since there is a reference to that document.  Performance evaluations are subject to appeal but if your operating plan is unreasonable the outcome of your evaluation may be inevitable. 
• You may appeal a decision on issuance or renewal of a permit but only under certain circumstances.  Parties solicited to apply for a permit may not appeal those terms and conditions because the agency claims those are standardized. 
• To be eligible to appeal a decision on permit renewal, you must have requested in writing that you want your permit renewed.  We think many outfitters will overlook this provision.  This is a basic requirement for permit renewal under any circumstances although many rangers are kind enough to let the permit holder know they must request renewal for the process to be initiated.

The rule limits appeals to  five types of decisions:
(1) modification, suspension, or revocation of a special use authorization, other than acceptance of an operating plan ;
(2) denial of a special use authorization to a solicited applicant;
(3) implementation of new land use fees for a special use authorization, other than “(i) Revision or replacement of a land use fee system or schedule that is implemented through public notice and comment; and (ii) Annual land use fee adjustments based on an inflation factor that are calculated under an established fee system or schedule in accordance with the terms and conditions of a written authorization;”
(4) assignment of a performance rating to holders of outfitting and guiding or campground concession permits that affects reissuance or extension of a special use authorization;
(5) denial of renewal of a special use authorization if it specifically provides for renewal and if the holder requests renewal of the authorization before it expires. 

Interveners in appeals are required to provide more information to include: “a description of the requester’s interest in the appeal; how disposition of the appeal may impair that interest; the factual and legal allegations in the appeal with which the requester agrees or disagrees; additional facts and issues that are not raised in the appeal that the requestor believes are relevant and should be considered; the relief sought by the requester, particularly as it differs from the relief sought by the appellant; a response, where applicable, to the appellant’s request for a stay, a request for oral presentation.”  Interveners have 15 days to appeal a decision.

AOA is preparing comments and will make a draft available to members.  Comments must be submitted before December 12, 2011.  A copy of the rule is available at

Resources Committee Republicans Make Recommendations to the Supercommittee.  Hearings on Wilderness Bills Scheduled This Week

The House Committee on Natural Resources submitted recommendations to the Supercommittee which revolved around increasing oil and gas production, increased access to federal lands and disposal of surplus federal lands and facilities. The proposals for oil and gas production include opening ANWR, and more access to off-shore and on-shore acreage for energy exploration and development.

On Tuesday, October 25th the Committee will hold a hearing on six wilderness bills, some with Republican sponsors, designed to protect 125,000 acres. 

America Outdoors Association
PO Box 10847
Knoxville, TN 37939

Phone: 1-800-524-4814

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