America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

February 18, 2014


America Outdoors Association Bulletin

Worth Repeating:  Coast Guard Appointed Experts Ask for Validation of On-Water Paddling Standards Which Apply to Trainers and Teachers for Rafting, Canoeing, Kayaking

Who should give this issue careful attention: On-Water teachers or trainers are urged to participate in an on-line survey  designed to collect feedback on the content of these "voluntary" entry-level, skill-based standards/rubrics for manually  propelled boating.

A team of experts assembled with U.S. Coast Guard  (USCG) grant funding seeks national content validation of HUMAN  (manually propelled) boat operation standards/rubrics that will be freely available to the boating public. This is your  opportunity to impact the development of free recreational paddling and rowing (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, paddleboards,  etc.) standards/rubrics that can be voluntarily used by educators when developing boating courses. You may participate by  completing this on-line survey.

WHAT:  The National On-Water Standards Team, funded by USCG grants, is seeking input from recreational paddling and rowing  educators across the nation on set of rubrics used to describe Human-propelled boating skills at the entry level. Following  the survey, the rubrics will be updated to reflect input from paddling and rowing nationwide and eventually be validated  and updated through a national field-testing program.


Legal Authority for Outfitter Permits (FLREA) Expected to be Introduced in the House of Representatives Soon

Each year AOA organizes a fly-in to Washington, DC to deal with issues which are critical to the industry.  This year the  focus was the reauthorization of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which is the authority for permitting  outfitters and guides in National Forests, on BLM lands and on Refuges.  The legislation provides vague authority for  issuing outfitter and guide permits, which needs to be strengthened.  The original legislation passed Congress in 2005.  It primarily authorizes agency recreation fee collection for use of their facilities and services and enables each  agency to retain those fees presumably to support recreation activities.

We learned that a discussion version of FLREA will be introduced soon in the House with hearings to follow.  A group of outfitters also stressed the importance of development of a more complete strategy for road and trail  maintenance.  Contact for more information or call 865-558-3595.

Yosemite Restores Bike and Rentals in Plan to Limit Access to Yosemite Valley

A court ordered rewrite of the management plan to protect the Merced Wild and Scenic River corridor will not eliminate raft  and bike rentals after all.  The plan caps visitors to the Valley at 21,000 during peak periods and moves some facilities out of the river corridor.  Shuttles will replace some of the vehicle traffic.

Do You Have an Employee Safety Plan Approved by Your State Workers Comp Program?

One of our members who was put in the assigned risk pool for workers comp after insurors pulled out of the market learned recently that he had to have a safety training program for his employees.  Anyone who has one they are willing to share (that has been accepted by your state), please  email it to  Thanks.

NPS Outfitters Centennial Celebration Webinar Registration  -- The NPS Centennial and Its Promotional Opportunities

The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation look forward to your participation in our upcoming presentation. National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and others will be sharing exciting progress on the work being done for the National Park Service Centennial, including the development of a broad public engagement initiative.


We invite you to join us for one of the two available times. We will be using both an online meeting service (for video) and a conference line (for audio):

• Webinar I - February 19, 2014; 12:30-2:00 pm ET

Register for the GoToMeeting webinar (video) anytime at:

Dial into the conference line at: 1-888-391-7045 PASSCODE: NPF

• Webinar II - February 20, 2014; 1:00 pm-2:30 pm ET

Register for the GoToMeeting webinar (video) anytime at:

Dial into the conference line at: 1-888-391-7045 PASSCODE: NPF

*PLEASE NOTE: Please select the link corresponding to the date you will be attending. Any technical issues during the online portion of the presentation please contact GoToMeeting Technical Support: 1-800-263-6317.

Due to the finite number of phone lines, we ask that offices/programs call in together (to the extent possible). Participants should dial into the call approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of the call. Each caller will be asked to provide a name and park/program location. Please DO NOT put the call on hold during the conference call; however, using the mute function is fine. Please DO NOT dial into the call using a cell phone as cell phones may cause static interference.

If you are unable to attend either of the times available, a portion of the presentation will be made available for download following the meeting. An email will be sent with that information. The presentation in its entirety will not be made available at this time.

We look forward to your participation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Julie Williams

National Park Foundation

Alexa Viets

America Outdoors Association
PO Box 10847
Knoxville, TN 37939

Phone: 1-800-524-4814

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