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November 08, 2017Report to the Bureau of Land Management Regulatory Reform Task Force Executive Order 13777 - Member Only

Outdoor recreation and access to public lands are tremendously important to connect Americans to the wonders of the natural world.  Outfitted services provide access to active travel and to places in the backcountry which the general public would be unable to visit without those services.  Outfitting contributes to the vitality of many rural economies.  Thousands of family-run businesses and their employees in rural communities are dependent upon land-managing agency permits to access public lands.   Approximately 17,000 authorizations are issued by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies for outfitting, guiding, special events, and competitions.  Unfortunately, the crush of regulatory processes from various federal agencies is threatening the survival of many of these recreation businesses.  Some of those challenges are outlined in this report. 

While this report covers some of the regulations or policies that we would like to see changed, we would like to note that we understand the important role the agencies play in the management of public lands and applaud their efforts to authorize services to the general public.  By focusing on the problem areas, we do not want this paper to be interpreted as condemning their role in land management.



October 03, 2017H.R. 289 The Guides and Outfitters Act as passed by House of Representatives

The Go Act, H.R. 289, accomplishes important cost recovery reforms, reauthorizes permitting processes and accomplishes important permit streamlining to lower the cost of issuing permits on federal lands.

August 09, 2017Letter on Recreation Not Red Tape - Member Only

This letter outlines issues with H.R. 3400 that could lead to more Red Tape instead of facilitating recreation access and streamlining permitting which are the goals of Recreation Not Red Tape.  The letter also suggest using The GO Act language for effective permit streamlining.

March 30, 2017Accessibility Guidebook for Outfitters Operating on Public Lands - Member Only

The purpose of this guidebook is to provide support for outfitters/guides authorized, under a special-use permit from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, to provide recreation opportunities on public lands. By working together, the agency and the outfitter/guide can ensure equal opportunity for all people, including people with disabilities. This can be accomplished while ensuring the participant's safety and preserving the recreation experience provided by the outfitter/guide.  Outfitters/guides operating under special-use authorization from USDA Forest Service are required to comply with both the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The ADA applies because the outfitters/guides operate as “public accommodation,” that is they are open to the public. Section 504 applies because outfitters/guides operate under special-use permits authorized by a Federal agency—the USDA Forest Service. Implementation guidelines for Section 504, which apply to recreation special-use permit holders, are located in USDA 7 CFR 15b. By signing the special-use authorization, the outfitter/guide agrees to abide by these and all other laws, regulations, and policies of the Federal Government.

March 04, 2016Secretary of Interiors Order Directing Permit Streamlining for Youth Access

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a Secretary’s Order to decrease barriers for disadvantaged and under-resourced youth to access America’s public lands and waters through expediting the permit process.  March 4, 2016.

November 09, 2015BLM Permit and Fee Handbook 2014 - Member Only

The BLM Permit and Fee Administration Handbook details how BLM permits are administered.  Revised in 2014.

May 14, 2015Rep. Bishop Supports FLREA Extension through September 2017 - Member Only

The House Committee on Natural Resources recently marked up H.R. 1991, which extends the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) until September 30, 2017.  FLREA is the authority under which outfitter and guide permits are issued. Meanwhile, the Committee is supposed to rework the bill that was marked up last year, which AOA supported because it contained some very positive language streamlining permit processing.

April 24, 2014BLM Final Cost Recovery Rule - Member Only

BLM's final cost reovery rule is similar to the Forest Service rule.  Authorizations requiring less than 50 hours to process do not require cost recovery.  However, those requiring more than 50 hours require full recovery of actual costs back to the first hour.

April 24, 2014Bureau of Land Management National Landscape Conservation System Management Manual final 2012

This is the Management Manual for National Landscape Conservation System.  The NLCS includes all congressinally designate areas within the Bureau of Land Management.

April 24, 2014BLM Manual Governing Management of National Monuments, NCA's etc. - Member Only

This manual covers how National Monuments, National Conservation Areas and similar designated areas will be managed.  It includes a section on recreation uses which must be consistent with the purposes of the designated area.

June 22, 2007 National Landscape Conservation System Act - Member Only

Introduced in the Senate to establish the National Landscape Conservation System, and for other purposes.


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