Tue Nov 7, 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today the establishment of the "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 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," said Secretary Zinke. "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."
In a press release, the Department of the Interior says the members of the Committee will be selected for their diverse backgrounds and their experiences with the recreational industry. Prospective members will have knowledge utilizing public-private partnerships, providing recreational visitor experiences, developing and deploying infrastructure improvements, or a thorough understanding of recreational equipment.
"America's abundance and beauty is something to be both preserved and admired," said Representative Dennis A. Ross. "As an RV enthusiast, I have been able to experience firsthand the glorious landscape of our great nation, and am thankful for those American entrepreneurs and innovators who think of new ways to experience what our country has to offer. I hope that with their guidance, more Americans will be able to witness the vast bounty of our land, from sea to shining sea."
"Northern Indiana is the RV Capital of the World, so Hoosiers know outdoor recreation plays a critical role in growing our nation's economy and creating American manufacturing jobs," said Representative Jackie Walorski. "I'm pleased Secretary Zinke is launching the 'Made in America' Recreation Advisory Committee to help achieve the important goals of increasing access to our nation's public lands, boosting investment in outdoor tourism, and building more American-made products like RVs and boats."
The duties of the Committee 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.
The RV Industry Association (RVIA), along with other members of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) applauded today’s announcement, according to an RVIA statement. The RVIA also says Zinke has also appointed former Navy SEAL Capt. Rick May as a new Senior Advisor to the Secretary, focusing on outdoor recreation. RVIA spokesperson Monika Geraci referenced a story in E&E News that reported May's appointment as "Recreation Czar" by Secretary Zinke. According to that report, "Zinke made the announcement at the department's headquarters, during an event honoring the 11,000 veterans who work for the Interior Department." A voice-mail message and an email sent to the Department of Interior to confirm May's appointment was not returned at press time.
The public may submit comments and nominations regarding the Committee by any of the following methods:
• Mail or hand-carry nominations to Teri Austin, Associate Director for Business Services, National Park Service, Office of Business Services, 1849 C Street, NW, MS 2717, Washington, DC 20240; or
• email nominations to: email@example.com
The Committee will meet approximately two times annually, and at such time as designated by the Designated Federal Officer. The Committee will terminate two years from the date the Charter is filed, unless, prior to that date, it is renewed in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
The Committee will not meet or take any action without a valid current Charter. The Committee is established by authority of the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) pursuant to 54 U.S.C. 100906, and is regulated by the FACA, as amended, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.