The National Recreation Policy Act (NRPA), a not-yet-introduced legislative proposal initiated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), may well be the centerpiece of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (ARVC) 14th Annual ARVC National Issues Conference, slated for April 26-28 in Washington, DC.
“The NRPA would basically raise the importance of recreation among federal land agency management priorities and call for the establishment of a National Recreation Policy to be developed by federal agency heads led by the Secretary of the Interior,” explains David Gorin, a consultant and Washington lobbyist affiliated with King & Gorin in his latest Woodall’s Campground Management column.
While leading members of ARC – RVIA, RVDA, marine manufacturers, guides, outfitters, the National Forest Recreation Association and many other recreation groups – are on record as favoring the NRPA legislation, says Gorin, other groups such as the Outdoor Industry Association and the American Hiking Association are still on the sidelines.
“There seems to be an interesting division among recreation interests cropping up regarding whom is responsible for paying for recreation facilities on public lands,” adds Gorin, a former ARVC president. “The NRPA suggests a reliance on private capital investment on public lands to improve recreation opportunities, and that seems to be raising some caution flags in some quarters.”
Also probably undergoing scrutiny at the ARVC National Issues Conference, an annual session at which industry leaders on the national and state level have an opportunity to catch up on federal activities and actions impacting the park industry, is another key legislative initiative being championed by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. through which Congress would set aside $3.125 billion a year for conservation programs.
In other conference agenda items, attendees will meet with federal land agency representatives to discuss partnerships and cooperation between public land managers and private sector business. They’ll also be updated on legislative initiatives of importance to smaller business.