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America Outdoors E-Bulletin
June 5, 2006

Secretary of Interior Participates in Conference Call with Recreation Leaders Most AO Members Looking Forward to Strong
Six Known Commercial Rafting Fatalities Thus Far This Season   News in the Upcoming Summer Issue of the America Outdoors Quarterly Newsletter

Secretary of Interior Participates in Conference Call with Recreation Leaders
  Less than a week after his confirmation Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne invited recreation and tourism leaders to participate in a conference call to raise and discuss issues regarding management of public lands. Secretary Kempthorne had previously organized calls with the leadership of the various agencies under Interior's umbrella and, according to reports we received from the field, he has made a positive impression.
David Brown, America Outdoors Executive Director participated in the call with a dozen other recreation and tourism leaders. Most participants on the call expressed concerns about agency funding. David Brown suggested that the agencies develop a comprehensive approach to funding to include new sources of revenue and ways to reduce operations overhead. He expressed concern that without such an approach there would be an over-reliance on fees that could negatively impact demand.
Most AO Members Looking Forward to Strong Season
2006 could be the best season since the late nineties for many AO members. Many outfitters, ranches and resorts, whose seasons are already underway, are reporting strong reservations and some are reporting record bookings. Responses to AO's Business Trends Survey revealed the following results.
Business trends to date:
  • 68% of respondents said their business to date was as good or better than last year
  • 46% said it was better or much better
  • 25% reported that their business was down
  • 41% reported that their reservations were ahead of last year by 5% or more
  • 24% reported that reservations were about the same as last year
  • 31% reported declines is reservations from last year at this time.
  • 4% reported that they were booked to capacity with one stating that their reservations were the worst in 25 years.
While there are some pockets of weakness, a recovery continues for most of the industry.
Six Known Commercial Rafting Fatalities Thus Far This Season
With the season just underway, six fatalities related to commercial rafting operations have been recorded in 2006. Last week three died after a raft flipped during a float trip on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park. The trip was operated by the Grand Teton Lodge Company. At least one of the Snake River customers was caught in a log jam. Another fatality was on an optional guide training trip on the Colorado River in Colorado, April 15th. The guide trainee was in a hole just briefly before flushing out and was rescued immediately but had stopped breathing. Two deaths were recorded on Washington's Klickitat River in high water conditions when the trip ran into what may have been a newly formed log-jam. Four boats on the trip flipped and a passenger along with the company owner drowned. The river was shut down by local authorities in consultation with local outfitters. All of these accidents happened in cold water conditions. In all cases the deceased were wearing life jackets.

Two private rafters have also drowned, making news. One drowned on Marsh Creek near Stanley, Idaho and another experienced rafter died on Eagle Creek in Colorado.
News in the Upcoming Summer Issue of the America Outdoors Quarterly Newsletter
Watch for the next America Outdoors newsletter which will feature articles on:

Sales and Marketing
The Top Seven Ways to Tune up Your Website
Striving for New Business

Risk Management
Should You Perform a Background Check on Applicants?
Who is Reading Your Email?
Tools to Reduce the Risk of Check Fraud

Outfitter Management
Loans to and From Your Company

Regional Reports, Government Affairs and more!

For additional information go to the Resources for Members page of the AmericaOutdoors.org web page to find:
  • Confluence information - including hotel reservation information
  • Equipment and Service Suppliers - a listing of our Vendor members
  • AO Money-Saving Benefits
  • Links to Outside Resources
  • The America Outdoors Board of Directors
  • Media Kits and News Releases
  • Internships - Postings of internship programs available through our members
In the Password Protected area you can find:
  • Alerts - a listing of all of the America Outdoors electronic bulletins
  • Government Affairs:
*Update of Overtime, Employment of Minors & OSHA Accident Reporting Requirements
*How to Appeal a Forest Service Permit-related Decision
*15 Passenger Van Advisory
*Can-Spam Advisory

*FMCSA Issues Rule to Improve For-Hire Small Bus and Van Safety
*And more
  • Final Rules and Regulations:
*Final Forest Service Cost Recovery Rule
*Commercial Use Authorizations: Interim Guidelines
*Outfitter and Guide Permits
*Categorical Exclusions - Final Regs
*Fair Pay Fact Sheet by Exemption
  • Proposed Rules and Comments
*NPS Policies
*BLM Fines
*Outfitter and Guide Special Use Permits
  • Other Resources - Improving Profitability, Risk Management, Marketing and Sales
  • The Business Library
  • Internship posting page for members.

Please contact the AO office if you have any questions regarding the information available on the website. 800-524-4814
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America Outdoors Staff Title E-mail address
David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
Robin Brown Communications Director robin@americaoutdoors.org
Leah Koski Office Manager office@americaoutdoors.org
Office Phone 865-558-3595
Office Fax 865-558-3598

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