MRAA and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable offered enthusiastic support for Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s recent recognition of outdoor recreation in his Secretarial Orders #3365 and #3366 in a letter.
Secretarial Order 3365 creates the position of Senior National Advisor to the Secretary for Recreation. ORR noted that is the first time in nearly 40 years that the term “recreation” has been used in the title of one of the Department’s senior officials or offices – not since the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service (successor to the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation) was combined with the National Park Service under President Reagan.
The second Secretarial Order, SO 3366, directs bureaus within the Department to: create plans to develop new recreational opportunities or to increase and expand existing opportunities; provide recommendations for improving and streamlining relevant permitting requirements for outdoor recreation providers; and improve the contracting processes for recreation-specific concessioners.
The new policy guidance supports coordination and cooperation with all segments of the outdoor recreation industry – including large and small businesses operating on Interior lands and waters under various permits, concessions agreements and other instruments – as well as with states, local governments and tribal and territorial interests while calling for strong intra-departmental collaboration, paralleling current efforts on reorganization.
In its letter of support, ORR offered five recommendations:
That the new National Senior Policy Advisor for Recreation begin monthly “open houses” at Interior for discussions on key outdoor recreation topics;
That the new Made in America Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee begin its work this summer with a review of the reports required by SO 3366 and development of recommendations for appropriate actions;
That the same new advisory committee regularly gather and review the recreation-related recommendations and reports of other Interior boards, committees and councils in cooperation with the National Senior Advisor for Recreation;
That the National Senior Advisor plan a national coordination meeting for state and key private sector partners of the Department, as announced in the Secretary’s May 2 letter to Governors; and
That the National Senior Advisor for Recreation expedite Department efforts to reduce the burdens facing recreation on Interior lands and waters, including those faced by outfitters, guides, facilitated outdoor recreation providers and concessioners.