Registration Open for the America Outdoors Association Convention in Reno, December 8 – 10, 2009
You can’t beat the quality or value of the programming at the America Outdoors Association Marketing and Management Conference. Attend for great seminars tailored to our industry’s challenges and issues. Click on Conference Information to see the information and full agenda. Submit your registration on our secure web site by clicking Register.
Terry Jones, the founder of Travelocity and chairman of Kayak.com, is the keynote speaker for 2009. Terry will deliver a dynamic presentation on how you can help grow your market with innovation in an expanding economy.
Registration is only $325 for members. Some very special programming is on tap this year. Check it out and make your travel plans this week while air fares are low. The Opening Social is Monday, December 7th, programs begin Tuesday December 8.
Please Take 5 Minutes to Respond to the Quarterly Business Results and Outlook Survey
You’ll get great information by responding to this business results and outlook survey. Over 100 member companies responded the last business outlook survey which enabled us to provide valid information to the Forest Service to gain fee relief for this season. Click here to take the survey.
Cost Recovery Raising Concerns for Some Forest Service Outfitters
When permits expire, under FS and BLM cost recovery regulations, the agency may charge for the time spent processing permits if the time required exceeds 50 hours. The Forest Service and BLM can charge for the time spent complying with the National Environment Protection Act (NEPA), which requires them to perform scoping, environmental assessments or full environmental impact statements, depending on the circumstances. They can charge for Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act and for their overhead costs. The agency cannot charge for programmatic costs like needs assessments, ongoing biological monitoring under the Endangered Species Act, or capacity analyses for permit renewal. In many instances, where there are no changed conditions or extraordinary circumstances, the agency can issue categorical exclusions and avoid timely permit processing.
Under cost recovery the agencies charge in advance for all the work done prior to issuing the permit. If several permits are issued at once for the same activity, then the costs can be spread among all the outfitters and a deduction is applied for similar private use or activities.
Cost recovery is being implemented in some states now and it could not come at a worse time for outfitters, many of whom are down 30% to 50%. Unfortunately, the Forest Service says the rule does not provide them with much flexibility. If cost recovery has been raised as an issue in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Many outfitters converting from temporary to transitional priority use and those who are having their permits renewed may face some surprises in the near future. Let us know if cost recovery has been raised by your permit administrator and how much they are considering charging for your permit processing. Don’t forget, if you have a temporary permit and want to convert to priority use, you need to submit a request letter before September 17th. Contact us for more information.
4 Year Old Daughter of AOA Member Battling Leukemia
Sarah Smith, 4 year old daughter of Carlo and Julie Smith, owners of Adventures Unlimited on the Ocoee River, recently was diagnosed with leukemia. She has endured the first month of chemo and is in the next phase of treatment. Sarah's beautiful smile and inner strength has shown through and in Julie's word, "is the strength in our family." Sarah is responding brilliantly to the treatments but has a long hard road in front of her. We ask that you keep the Smith's in your thoughts through this very difficult time.
"Many of you have been asking us what you can do to help our family. I have come up with a small favor for each of you. There is a cookie company in Nashville, TN that is giving away $25,000 to a charity. They are asking their cookie fans to vote for their favorite charity. I am asking you to go to www.ChristieCookies.com and place your vote. Of course I would love for you to vote for the Lymphoma/Leukemia Society and they have an office right there in Nashville. So please take a moment and cast your ballot! If you choose to order some cookies too, you won't be disappointed!"
You can keep up with Sarah's progress by going to an online journal between Julie and friends and family by visiting www.caringbridge.org Sarah's website name is ssmith.