What projects and/or tasks did the committee work on?
The committee continues to seek to demystify the processes surrounding responsible public lands access & recreation for member organizations. We seek to connect members to resources & land managers to ensure that participants in programs can receive a high-quality outdoor recreation experience while imposing as little ecological disturbance as possible.
In this quarter, the committee met twice. Work included the development and delivery of an Advocacy Webinar on February 12th for AORE members. The presentation covered the basics of lobbying, and how to engage in public lands advocacy, especially from the lens of a state-supported institution. A recording of this webinar is available for download by heading to the association's member portal and then searching for it within AORE's Online Learning Library. The committee also created and submitted two presentation proposals for the 2020 AORE annual conference. One was for a SNAP session around the SOAR Act and the other was a Permitting Workshop. Resources were provided for members on COVID-19 access/permitting concerns as well. They are housed on AORE's on COVID-19 Resource Hub.
Describe how the committee’s work connects to AORE’s strategic framework and to the trends and issues happening in the larger outdoor industry.
Responsible outdoor recreation during and post-pandemic is something that the Access & Permitting Committee has been thinking about quite a bit. Partners at nonprofits and agencies have been putting out consistent communication about how to practice outdoor recreation keeping social distancing in mind. The committee hopes to support members once economies begin to reopen, potentially in the summer. Our advocacy education resources seek to empower members to join in the conversations surrounding tensions in and around public land usage throughout the U.S. During the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we seek to provide resources and support to organizations & individuals with questions about how to best access public lands, now and in the future.
The committee would like members to let us know if they have ever received a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) from the National Park Service (or have ever been asked to have one to run a program or access a park). The committee is looking to beef up its guidance for National Park Service permitting for member organizations in 2020.
The SOAR Act should be marked up in Congress in May (pending delays because of COVID-19). Members should watch for updates/changes from the Access & Permitting committee as things take shape. Members can also check out information about the SOAR Act here.
The committee will develop and present another virtual learning experience for members in October. It will cover Federal Permit Case Studies. More details will be shared out with members soon on AORE's Events Page.