If you cannot read this html-formatted special newsletter, please copy and paste the following address in your browser. http://www.americaoutdoors.org/html-article/vol7num1htm.newsletter
Or contact AO at info@americaoutdoors.org; a text copy will be sent to you.


January 18, 2007

America Outdoors E-News

Schizophrenic Weather Pattern Creates New Opportunities and Challenges Forest Service Appoints Abigail Kimbell as New Forest Service Chief
Confluence, America Outdoors Marketing and Management Conference Set for Reno in 2007 and Knoxville in 2008 NPS Proposed Insurance Requirements for Small Contracts, CUA's, and Permits Are Impossible to Achieve
Schizophrenic Weather Pattern Creates New Opportunities and Challenges
  While the East basked in subtropical temperatures heavy snow and cold weather generated record attendance for Colorado ski resorts. Colorado Ski Country USA reports its 26 member resorts posted record-setting skier visitation for the first portion of the winter season. Collectively, Colorado ski resorts hosted 3,285,649 skiers and snowboarders, an increase of 6.74 percent, or 207,533 visits, over October 31-December 31, 2006. One Colorado front range outfitter reported record rental of cross country skis and snowshoes. Many people were using them in their neighborhoods.

Winter arrived in the East in mid-January giving hope to winter snowmobile operations in Maine. With no snow on the ground, many Maine outfitters were sweating the potential for a total blowout of their snowmobile season.

Snowpack in the West is spotty. Current snow depth over Oregon reflects the results of a large winter storm that moved through the Pacific Northwest earlier in the week. The snow water-equivalent values since the start of the 2007 Water Year (October 1, 2006) shows above normal amounts over the Washington Cascades and Front Range of the Rockies in Colorado but below normal percentages dominate the remainder of the West, especially over the Sierra Mountains and in Arizona. Some snow in the central to northern Rocky Mountains has helped to improve snowpack conditions for the region. In Wyoming, drought categories were expanded because of low snow totals so far this year as well as reservoir and water supply concerns. Drought indexes expanded in central Wyoming and northwest into Montana. Drought indexes declined in southern Colorado as precipitation deficits have improved and current snowpack is above average.

In Arizona, the snowpack forecast was improved in north-central Arizona, while drought patterns expanded from southwest Arizona to the north and west to include southern Nevada. The water year has started off very badly in this region.

Drought conditions expanded along the California and Nevada border and along the coast of California. Some agricultural impacts on grazing lands have been reported in California, as pastures have not provided adequate forage for many producers in the region
Forest Service Appoints Abigail Kimbell
as New Forest Service Chief
  After 41 years of service, Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth announced his retirement. He will be replaced by the first woman to serve as Chief, Abigail Kimbell, who is experienced with outfitter issues from her service in Region 1 and in Alaska.

Kimbell currently serves as Regional Forester for the Northern Region in Missoula, Montana, which includes northern Idaho, and North Dakota. As Forest Service Chief, Kimbell will oversee an organization of over 30,000 employees and a budget of just over $4 billion. Before becoming regional forester, Kimbell served in the Washington Office as Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System, with responsibility for assisting in the development of the Healthy Forest

Jack Rich, America Outdoors' Northern Rockies Chair, summarized his experience with Ms. Kimbell. "I've had the opportunity to attend several meetings over the last three years at which Gail was also in attendance. She comes off as very down to earth and well-informed on the issues."
Confluence, America Outdoors Marketing and Management Conference, Set for Reno in 2007 and Knoxville in 2008
  Get ready for another informative conference in 2007 as America Outdoors returns to Reno, Nevada for its Marketing and Management Conference, December 5-8 at the Silver Legacy Resort. Make plans now to be with us in Reno for Confluence 2007.

Knoxville Tennessee's new state-of-the-art convention center will host the America Outdoors conference in 2008 from December 3 to 6, 2008.
NPS Proposed Insurance Requirements for Small Contracts, CUA's, and Permits Are Impossible to Achieve
  America Outdoors is working with the National Park Service to modify newly proposed insurance requirements that require coverages that are unavailable, unnecessary, and could force scores of outfitters and CUA holders out of business. The requirements apply to outfitters whether they have property inside National Park boundaries or operate from outside the boundaries. There are two sets of proposals. One proposed policy was presented by Price Waterhouse Coopers in late November at Confluence and the other was drafted last spring. Both have debilitating requirements.

Contracts under $3 million, CUA holders, Friends organizations, and permit holders would be subject to these requirements:
  • Carry $5,000,000 aggregate for pollution coverage and $3,000,000 for a single limit, which is unavailable;
  • Limits for liability coverage are increased to $2 million aggregate
  • Guides would have to carry professional liability insurance (errors and omissions coverage), also known as malpractice insurance in layman's terms, which is also unavailable;
  • The Price Waterhouse Coopers proposal required $50,000 in no fault medical payments per year, which is not available or appropriate;
  • Flood and quake insurance would be required along with business interruption and extra expense (to restart the business); "
  • All insurance providers will have to be "admitted" carriers. Virtually all the general liability coverage for outfitters is provided by surplus lines carriers. None are admitted. The policy requires that all carriers be "licensed" in the state where they do business.
The Director must approve exceptions after obtaining letters from insurance companies stating the coverage is not available. NPS continues to prohibit waivers of liability for the inherent risks of the activity but will allow a Park approved Visitor Acknowledgement of Risk Form. Ironically, NPS officials are exempted from claims for their errors and omissions in their discretionary decision-making during the normal course of their business.
Return to top of page

America Outdoors® Inc., PO Box 10847, Knoxville, TN, 37939

America Outdoors Staff Title E-mail address
David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
Robin Brown Communications Director robin@americaoutdoors.org
Office Manager office@americaoutdoors.org
Office Phone 865-558-3595
Office Fax 865-558-3598

Unsubscribe Notice

If you unsubscribe you will no longer receive AO member benefits that are delivered via email, including electronic bulletins, Action Alerts, links to member benefits, etc. Additionally, your company's email address will not appear in either the AO Outfitters Directory and Vacation Guide or on the America Outdoors Website. This action is required to assure that AO complies with provision in the Can Spam Act. If you should unsubscribe by mistake, please e-mail office@americaoutdoors.org and ask to be placed back on the list. See the information below to unsubscribe.