News Items - Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
U.S. Forest Service Announces Improvements to Permit System
The new guidance will improve the operation of the agency’s outfitter-guide permitting system to benefit all outdoor recreation programs across the nation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                             
For more information, contact:

Meghan Sullivan
Communications Manager
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
1100 N. Main St. #101, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
msullivan@aore.org
(810)299-2782

Sam Hensold
Assistant Coordinator, Outdoor Pursuits
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301
sthensold@fortlewis.edu
 

U.S. Forest Service Announces Improvements to Permit System
The new guidance will improve the operation of the agency’s outfitter-guide permitting system to benefit all outdoor recreation programs across the nation.


ANN ARBOR, MICH. – June 17, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Forest Service announced new guidance that will improve the operation of the agency’s outfitter-guide permitting system. This new guidance will streamline the process for issuing permits to outdoor leaders that take people outdoors. These improvements will provide more access to federal lands and waters for a wide range of users, including programs that provide outdoor experiences to historically underserved youth.

The guidance is in the form of a letter from the Chief of the Forest Service distributed throughout the agency that describes how agency staff should interpret the agency’s outfitter-guide permitting policy. The purpose of the Chief’s letter is to adjust the way U.S. Forest Service staff apply the policy so that the process of issuing permits can be completed more quickly and efficiently. The Chief’s letter also describes certain situations where outdoor activities have such minimal effects that they can be authorized without requiring permits at all, further simplifying the process for getting people out on public lands.

“Thanks, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, for taking strong action to streamline the recreation permitting process and providing new opportunities for AORE members to visit the National Forests,” said AORE Executive Director Jeannette Stawski. “Your actions will reduce barriers for university, military and community recreation programs, connect more people to public lands, and help build the next generation of conservation leaders.”

This new guidance is a big step forward in AORE Access and Permitting Committee’s campaign to increase opportunities for guided recreation on public lands and waters. It will help numerous AORE members get more people outdoors, and help us build the constituency for public lands.

With the release of this guidance, AORE’s strategy shifts to implementation. Members of our Access and Permitting Committee will develop a strategy for supporting the implementation of this guidance in forests around the country.

It is with great pride AORE recognizes our partners at The Wilderness Society for their work in this effort, namely Paul Sanford, National Director of Recreation Policy and the AORE Access and Permitting Committee lead by Sam Hensold, Brian Shirley, and Andrew Nelson.

For full details please see the USFS press release by clicking here.
 

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About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands managed by the Forest Service contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. www.fs.fed.us.
 
About The Wilderness Society
The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. http://www.wilderness.org.
 
About the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
The mission of the Association is to provide opportunities for professionals and students in the field of outdoor recreation and education to exchange information, promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment, and address issues common to college, university, community, military, and other not-for-profit outdoor recreation and education programs. www.aore.org.
 
About the AORE Access and Permitting Committee
The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Access Committee is dedicated to ensuring that the members of our organization continue to have reasonable access to public lands and waterways in order to provide the "outdoor" component that our programs rely upon for educational and recreational missions.



Published: 06/17/16