More Info on ARC’s Modernization Initiative

Thanks to Kitty Benzar forARC_Privatization_Plan_2012_FPR_Coverage helpful information from the Parks and Recreation newsletter.
Kitty also pointed to this link in her comments on the previous post.

I noticed this…

Our efforts coincide with a transition in Forest Service recreation program leadership. Jim Bedwell, who has served as National Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources for many years, will relocate in early October to Denver, where he will assume regional recreation program responsibilities. Department officials have told us that they see this transition as an opportunity to strategically realign the Forest Service recreation program.

and this from the ARC site:

The reaction to the presentation by the Under Secretary was enthusiastic and positive. He explained that innovative agreements were happening within other Forest Service programs, but that the progress had been slow in recreation – until the meeting. He praised the thoughts presented and proposed immediate work by a team led by Leslie Weldon and Derrick Crandall aimed at planning a “three-hour-plus meeting within a month to make decisions and proceed.”

Planning for this follow-up session is already underway and a search is on for suitable pilot-effort locations for investments, in-season storage and more.

I hope the public gets a chance to be engaged in the “strategic realignment” as well as these other discussions!

Among the eight planks that industry presented to Under Secretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman and Forest Service officials one received an immediate veto – in-season storage of recreational vehicles on national forest land.

But the other seven elements did receive a better reception, with qualifications:

1. Campground “makeovers” and service expansion
2. Marina “makeovers” and service expansion
3. In-season boat storage on national forests
4. In-season OHV storage on national forests
5. Partnerships with key DMOs on outreach, in-forest services including
apps and more
6. Expansion of use of conservation corps by FS, partners, and
7. National Forest Recreation Centers: consolidation and expansion of
recreation at key recreation “gateways” to national forests.

I have to say I am concerned about the lack of a public forum to talk about seems to me that just given the discussions we have had here, a national Recreation FACA committee would be helpful. With some dedicated research funds to answer the questions they determine they need. Just because there’s no NEPA doesn’t mean there should be no public involvement…

3 thoughts on “More Info on ARC’s Modernization Initiative”

  1. “I have to say I am concerned about the lack of a public forum to talk about this..”

    Sharon your blog is about as close to a public forum as there is at the moment. My confidential sources inside the agency are expressing serious concern about this initiative, but since it seems to be coming down from the Undersecretary and the Chief they are understandably reluctant to speak out. Perhaps the former and retired FS employees who participate in this blog, or current employees who can participate anonymously, will use this as a place to air their concerns. I have to guess that you have a following inside the FS, they need to speak now or forever hold their peace.

  2. Well, I don’t have any experience with grassroots organizing. but some members of the blog do… what would you all experts recommend?

    Step 1.
    Emailing the Chief and Undersecretary and asking for a public discussion?

  3. FYI – If you thumb thru the presentation {} given that started this discussion you’ll note the “Campground “makeovers” and service expansion” plank includes installing wifi, yurts, cabins, and so much more. Wouldn’t it be great if it addresses some of the re-occurring problems like pot-holes in the cg’s interior road, failing water systems, and educating campers to be better users of their national forests.


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