Adapted from U.S. Department of Interior and American Recreation Coalition news releases and E&E News article
The U.S. Department of the Interior is devoting important new resources to outdoor recreation on America’s public lands and waters. On November 7, 2017, Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the creation of a “Made In America” Recreation Advisory Committee. The committee will advise the Secretary of the Interior on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure on public lands and waterways.
The duties of the committee, which will meet approximately two times annually, are strictly advisory and will consist of, but not be limited to, providing recommendations including policies and programs that:
- Expand and improve visitor infrastructure developed through public-private partnerships
- Implement sustainable operations embracing fair, efficient, and convenient fee collection and strategic use of the collected fees
- Improve interpretation using technology
- Create better tools and/or opportunities for Americans to discover their lands and waters
Zinke has also added two former Navy SEALs to his management team, including one who will be charged with overseeing outdoor recreation. He has hired former special operators Michael Argo as his Deputy Chief of Staff and Rick May as his new Senior Advisor to oversee the agency’s efforts to improve recreational opportunities on public lands.
“The spirit of American innovation and ingenuity is what built our country, and the Interior Department wants that same spirit and energy to resonate within the realm of outdoor recreation on our public lands,” Zinke said. “By forming this committee, I look forward to hearing from the best and the brightest in our private sector on how to improve the public experience on our Federal lands and waters by expanding access for all Americans. We already have thousands of private partners who operate on Federal lands. Whether it’s the iconic Jammers in Glacier National Park, the historic El Tovar lodge at the Grand Canyon, or the kayaks that you can rent on the Potomac River, American workers are at the heart of helping American families experience our great outdoors.”
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in Pathways Across America is public domain. All views expressed herein are perspectives of individuals working on behalf of the National Trails System and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Federal agencies.