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America Outdoors E-News
September 29, 2006

Make Flight Reservations for the America Outdoors Conference While Cheap Seats Are Available Forest Service and Interior Call for Nominations to Fee RAC's
District Court Restricts Navigation for Rights for Hunting and Fishing Activities Adjacent to Private Land During High Water

Make Flight Reservations for the America Outdoors Conference While Cheap Seats Are Available
  Don't delay in making your flight reservations for America Outdoors International Marketing and Management Conference, a.k.a. Confluence in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Unless you are staying over for skiing, plan to arrive on Tuesday, November 28 and depart on Saturday, December 2nd.
District Court Restricts Navigation for Rights
for Hunting and Fishing Activities Adjacent to Private Land During High Water
Several members have asked about a ruling in Louisiana that one boating organization claimed will restrict access to waters adjacent to private land that are outside shipping channels. The ruling prohibits fishing and hunting on the Mississippi River when high water flows into private land and fills portions of old river channels that are normally dry.

On August 29th the U.S. District Court for the Western District Court of Louisiana over-ruled a lower court ruling and said that the public has a right to use navigable waters, but there is no specific right to hunt and fish on those waters when they flood private lands. The Court said that the flooded, privately owned property in question is subject to public use but is limited to activities that are incidental to the navigable character of the River. The Court found that hunting and fishing were not included in those rights.
Forest Service and Interior Call for
Nominations to Fee RAC's
  The U. S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior announced today the establishment of a new public advisory committee structure to provide recommendations concerning recreation fee proposals for public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Where the Agency uses Fee Resource Advisory Committees (Fee RAC's) in five states and regions, outfitters have seats dedicated for their participations. The existing BLM RAC's will be used in other areas and will also oversee Forest Service fee sites. Some BLM's RAC's established recreation subcommittee's but the Committee's were somewhat subject to the agency's willingness to hold meetings and share information, which were limited in some cases. That may change with the new law.
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act requires the Secretaries to establish Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (Recreation RACs) in each state or region unless, in consultation with the governor of the state, it is determined insufficient interest exists to establish a Recreation RAC.

Through a new interagency agreement, both agencies will utilize existing BLM Resource Advisory Councils (RACs), where appropriate, or new Recreation RACs chartered by the Forest Service. These advisory committees and councils will make recommendations to both agencies on implementing, eliminating and changing recreation fees. The agreement details the duties of each agency and the procedures to be followed.

Existing BLM RACs will be used in the states of Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, and Utah. The Forest Service will establish five new Recreation RACs across the nation. They will be in four Forest Service regions -- the Eastern, Southern, Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest (including BLM states of California, Oregon and Washington) -- as well as in the state of Colorado. The Forest Service will also use the existing Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board for the Black Hills National Forest. Based on recommendations from the Governors of Alaska, Nebraska and Wyoming, there will be no Recreation RACs in their states.

The committees may provide recommendations for recreation fees on both Forest Service and BLM managed lands in their respective areas and are expected to become operational as early as this winter. All advisory committee meetings will be open to the public.

The Forest Service is currently accepting nominations for membership on the five new Recreation RACs. People interested in serving on a committee may review the application criteria and obtain a nomination packet at www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/rrac. Nominations for these positions will be accepted through Oct. 23, 2006. The interagency agreement is also available on this website.

Although the existing BLM RACs already have members in place; they periodically solicit nominations for vacancies on the committees. Those interested in serving on a BLM RAC, can find local information on www.blm.gov/rac
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David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
Robin Brown Communications Director robin@americaoutdoors.org
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