From Scott Silver of Wild Wilderness

As expected, the anti-parks, anti-environmental, American Recreation Coalition is delighted with the newly announced National Park Service direction. And as predicted, ARC's old friend Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has chosen to embrace the American Recreation Coalition's Get Outdoors USA Campaign and more. (SEE ARC's internal memo, below) The 19 page document to which ARC's Derrick Crandall makes reference can be read at . Having just read it, I understand why Crandall found it so very very heartening. Clearly, and as expected, the National Park Service is embarking upon a course that will further commercialize, privatize and motorized the parks and do so in time for the Centennial celebration. Read the 19 page document and if you can cut through the political language, you'll see that it is all about rationalizing and justifying the Corporate Takeover of Nature and the Disneyfication of the Wild. I'd just add that if ARC's other old friend, Lyle Laverty, is confirmed the Department of Interior's new overseer of recreation/tourism policy, Crandall will likely be besides himself with joy. Read the19 page document, and do so with these words in mind --- words offered by America's premier National Park and public-lands champion, Michael Frome, on the occasion of the National Park Service's 75th Anniversary. "A national park as I see it is not simply a place. It's an ideal, a mission, an old mystique that sets national parks and park people apart. The seventy-fifth anniversary provides a marvelous opportunity to recharge old batteries. Let us go on from this conference to rescue everything that still remains wild and to recapture a lot more that has been lost. Let us not privatize the parks with the goodies of Disneyesque "partnerships" and the strings attached to them." -Michael Frome Scott ----- Original Message ----- From: Derrick Crandall To: Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 7:43 PM Subject: Release of NPS Report: The Future of America's National Parks In an important step toward the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will release a 19 page report to the President that outlines a strategy for reversing decades of deferred maintenance, visitor service cutbacks and risks to natural and cultural assets. the report was requested by the President last August, was addressed in the President's FY08 budget and the Roundtable with the President in February in Shenandoah National Park and reflects the ideas of thousands of Americans offered in listening sessions in March and April or 2007. The direction of the report is good for ARC and its members. It clearly and unequivocally establishes recreation as a priority of the National Park Service. The Secretary begins with five goals: Therefore, firm in the conviction that the golden years for national parks have not passed but are ahead, I propose five overarching goals to guide the National Park Service each day for the next nine years leading up to its 100th anniversary: • Lead America in preserving and restoring treasured resources; • Demonstrate environmental leadership to the nation; • Offer superior recreational experiences where visitors explore and enjoy nature and the great outdoors, culture and history; • Foster exceptional learning opportunities connecting people to parks, especially children and seniors; and • Achieve management and partnership excellence to match the magnificence of the treasures entrusted to its care. The specific initiatives relating to recreation in the report are encouraging. Here is the goal statement and the possible actions from the report: National parks are superior recreational destinations where visitors have fun, explore nature and history, find inspiration, and improve health and wellness. We will: • Encourage collaboration among and assist park and recreation systems at every level—federal, regional, state, local—to help build an outdoor recreation network accessible to all Americans. • Establish “volun-tourism” excursions to national parks for volunteers to help achieve natural and cultural resource protection goals. • Expand partnerships with schools and boys and girls associations to show how national park experiences can improve children’s lives. • Focus national, regional, and local tourism efforts to reach diverse audiences and young people and to attract visitors to lesser-known parks. S P E C I F I C P E R F O RMA N C E G O A L S Increase annual volunteer hours by 100 percent, from 5.2 million hours to 10.4 million hours. Increase visitation by 25 percent at lesser-known parks through a national tourism effort aimed at helping people to discover the breadth of parks and experiences. Rehabilitate over 2,000 miles of trails within or connected to national parks, including trails accessible to those with disabilities. Increase the number of visitors that attend ranger-facilitated programs such as campfire talks, hikes, and school programs. P O T E N T I A L A C T I O N S A N D E X AMP L E S Use the Alaska National Parks marketing partnership as a model to reach new audiences and promote off-season visitation. Use urban parks as portals to encourage children and their families to discover all national parks, based on the successful models of the “learn to sail” program for New York City youth at Gateway National Recreation Area and youth stewardship programs, serving children in San Francisco, at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Rehabilitate the last section of the towpath at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park so hikers and bikers can traverse its 185-mile length. Promote a “get outdoors America” campaign to encourage invigorating outdoor activity. I'll be delighted to send you the full report (about 3 Mb) upon request -- or check the Interior website tomorrow. Needless to say, the Secretary's embrace of our Get Outdoors USA! campaign is very, very heartening. Derrick