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America Outdoors Association

February 14th, 2011

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Tips On Getting the Lowest Airfare

Forest Service Releases Planning Rule

Budget Proposal for FY 2011 Whacks Away at Recreation and Fish and Wildlife Programs

This Week's Online Class

Tips On Getting the Lowest Airfare
American Airlines took its fares off Orbitz.  Delta is not offering all its fares on ticket aggregators. Southwest, Virgin American and some regional carriers only offer the lowest fares on their sites.

So, where do you go to get the best deals?  You will now have to check multiple sites. Matrix, strictly an airfare search site, is one option.  Matrix only searches for airfares and shows only those flights that have seats available. You cannot book through Matrix, so you have to print out your choice and go to the airline site. Kayak.com and Expedia may offer the flights on their sites since Matrix powers their search engines. You might also check the airlines own sites for the lowest fares.

Forest Service Releases Planning Rule
While the devil is always in the details, the summary of the Forest Service planning rule suggests that our efforts in collaboration with others to elevate the status of recreation in Forest planning had some success. The rule’s web page can be found by clicking here. A pre-publication version of the rule was released on February 10th. The summary includes a section that states planning for recreation will be a requirement of Forest plans. We will be reviewing the rule along with others to see if recreation does gain the stature it deserves. The summary of the rule states: “Plans would also include plan components to contribute to social and economic sustainability, thereby supporting vibrant communities and rural job opportunities. Planning would consider the full suite of multiple uses of a plan area, including watershed, wildlife and fish, outdoor recreation, grazing, timber, energy, minerals, wilderness, ecosystem services, and other relevant resources, uses and values. Plan components would be required to provide for sustainable recreation on land, water and in the air.”

The Forest Service announced a series of workshops on the rule.  The schedule can be found below:

Regional Meetings:

Regional Roundtables for the Northern Region (Region 1)
Missoula, MT March 22, 2011
Billings, MT March 22, 2011
Coeur d’Alene, MT March 22, 2011

Regional Roundtables for the Rocky Mountain Region (Region 2)
Regional Office, 740 Simms St., Lakewood, CO 80401 March 21, 2011
Cheyenne, WY March 24, 2011
Rapid City, SD March 16, 2011

Regional Roundtables for the Southwestern Region (Region 3)
Albuquerque, NM April 5, 2011
Phoenix, AZ April 7, 2011

Regional Roundtable for the Intermountain Region (Region 4)
Salt Lake City, UT March 24, 2011

Regional Roundtable for the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5)
Garden Pavilion Hotel, 5640 Dudley Blvd, Sacramento, CA March 21, 2011
Angeles National Forest, Forest Supervisor’s Office, Arcadia, CA 91006 TBD
ShastaTrinity National Forest, Forest Supervisor’s Office, Redding, CA TBD

Regional Roundtable for the Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6)
Sheraton Airport Hotel, 8235 Northeast Airport Way, Portland, OR 97220 March 25, 2011
Regional Roundtable for the Southern Region (Region 8)
Asheville, NC TBD

Regional Roundtable for the Eastern Region (Region 9)
Regional Office, 626 East Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202 March 23, 2011

Regional Roundtable for the Alaska Region (Region 10)
Juneau, AK March 21, 2011
Forest Service Recreation Framework to Guide Agency Recreation Strategy

Forest Service also made its recreation framework public, which is the agency’s strategy to guide its recreation program. Recreation Director Jim Bedwell said, “I believe the Framework provides us a solid foundation for the integration of recreation and heritage programs with the coming proposed Planning Rule as well as the America's Great Outdoors initiative.” The Framework can be accessed on the Forest Service website: http://prdp2fs.ess.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5270170.pdf

Budget Proposal for FY 2011 Whacks Away at Recreation and Fish and Wildlife Programs
With a looming $1.65 trillion budget for FY 2011, the Republican leadership in the House released a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.  This is not to be confused with the President’s own budget proposal for FY 2012 which was just released today.  The federal government has been operating on a continuing resolution (CR), extending previous year funding, since the start of the fiscal year on October 1st.  The CR expires March 4th, so the House and Senate have to pass an actual budget by that date.

As reported in Federal Parks and Recreation, Secretary Salazar’s Wildlands initiative is defunded. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), one of the architects of the bill said “I’m concerned that (the wild lands) initiative will make it more difficult to make good land management decisions and result in increased litigation.  The responsibility for making land management designations belongs to Congress, not the agency, and by including language in the CR to defund this initiative; I hope to force the Department to work with Congress on this issue.”

The House proposal cuts BLM operations by $23 million, Forest Service recreation by $16.5 million and Fish and Wildlife Service grants to state are zeroed out.

The President’s FY 2012 Budget proposes $12 billion in level funding for the Department of Interior but shifts some of the money around.  Construction in National Parks and refuges will be reduced.

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