Murkowski: LWCF Can Do More for Conservation and Outdoor Recreation

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to review the implementation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program.

In her opening remarks, Murkowski noted that her 2019 lands package – the John D. Dingell Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act – contained a provision to permanently authorize LWCF’s collection and deposit functions and ensure that at least 40 percent of appropriated funding goes to the state-side program each yearPortrait of Lisa Murkowski

“Now that the collection and deposit functions of the LWCF have been permanently authorized – and we have made some important reforms – it is time to look at what has worked with the program and areas that can be improved,” Murkowski said. “Our challenge now is to think differently and more creatively about the LWCF. We need to ask what else it can accomplish for conservation and outdoor recreation in the future.” 

Lauren Imgrund, Deputy Secretary for Pennsylvania DNR and president of NASORLO, provided expert testimony on the stateside component of LWCF.

An archived video of today’s hearing can be found on the committee’s website.

Full Opening Statements and Links to Testimony 

Opening Remarks

Witness Panel 1

 

Delaware Governor Carney leads another Governor’s Campout!

Governor Carney, DNREC Secretary Garvin, Education Secretary Bunting join first-time campers at Governor’s Campout

FELTON – Governor John Carney, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and Delaware Department of Education Secretary Susan Bunting joined a group of third-graders and their families from South Dover, W. Reily Brown, and Star Hill elementary schools, for the 4th annual Delaware Outdoor Family – Governor’s Campout at Killens Pond State Park over the weekend.

The Governor’s Campout, part of Great Outdoors Month, offers the opportunity for families to become more familiar with camping, and helps to strengthen the relationship between family members, the environment, parks, and the community. This year, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation partnered with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), to focus on the importance of reading and science. The event was linked to the state Department of Education’s Next Generation Science Standards implementation, and the Governor’s and DDOE’s literacy initiative.

Full article

Girl Scouts Love State Parks




Division of State Parks  Indiana Department of Natural Resources
402 W. Washington St.Indianapolis, IN 46204-2748 
For immediate release: June 17, 2019 

Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend is July 13-14

The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) and the Girl Scouts of America (GSUSA) will partner for the inaugural Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend on July 13 and 14.

The weekend is designed to help thousands of girls across the United States explore nature, find adventure and learn what Girl Scouts is all about. Indiana State Parks will offer many options across the state to participate.

GSUSA is committed to developing a passion for outdoor adventure, healthy risk-taking, education and environmental conservation. During this weekend, they will host a variety of events at different state parks nationwide, where girls will be able to explore the outdoors, work on badges and projects or do many other activities.

Janet Holcomb, Indiana’s First Lady was a Girl Scout and supports the GSUSA and the new weekend promotion.

“I’m always eager for any opportunity to go outside and enjoy nature, especially in Indiana’s outstanding state parks, where you can hike, bike, fish, paddle, gather around a campfire, and more,” Holcomb said. “The Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend is a terrific way for our state’s future leaders to foster a deep appreciation of the outdoors.”

Hosting events in Indiana are:July 13
• Fort Harrison State Park: Bug Badge at 10 a.m.
• Turkey Run State Park: Geology Hike through Rocky Hollow (water permitting) at 10 a.m.
• Ouabache State Park: Bison Feeding at 10 a.m. 
• Chain O’Lakes State Park: Slime Time: Animals Who Use/Make Slime to Survive at 5 p.m. 
• McCormick’s Creek State Park: Wildlife of McCormick’s from 1-4 p.m. (presentation, hike, cave exploration, and invasive pull).
• Potato Creek State Park: Birding at Potato Creek at 2 p.m.
• Indiana Dunes State Park: Full Moon Hike at 7:30 p.m. (presentation, then hike).
• Lincoln State Park: Abe’s Neighborhood Walk and cornhusk dolls at noon.
• Patoka Lake : Archery Lessons at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:15 p.m. (space is limited at each lesson.)
July 14
• Lincoln State Park:  Abe’s Neighborhood Walk and cornhusk dolls at noon.
• Salamonie Lake: Live Raptors at 1 p.m.
All events are local time, and are open to all Girl Scouts. Some are open to families and friends, too. Exclusive Girl Scouts Love State Parks patches and merchandise will be available for participants at the Girl Scout Shop and participating council stores.

Registration is required through Indiana’s regional Girl Scout councils for all of these events. Links to council events pages are as follows:
Northern Indiana-Michiana: girlscoutsnorthernindiana-michiana.org/en/events/event-list.html
Central Indiana: girlscoutsindiana.org/en/events/girl-scouts-love-state-parks.html
Southwest Indiana: hgirlscouts-gssi.org/en/events/event-list.html 

Learn more about these Indiana events at calendar.dnr.IN.gov. More about the national event and GSUSA is at girlscouts.org. To see all dnr news releases, go to dnr.IN.gov.-30-
Media contact: Ginger Murphy, Deputy Director, Indiana State Parks, 317-232-4143, gmurphy@dnr.IN.gov

 

Girl Scouts – US and most of the state park systems have special events scheduled this
summer

Gold Medal Finalists; State Park Videos

The Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Parks and Recreation are presented by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, and proudly sponsored by Musco Lighting.

The Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management, and agency recognition. Awards are presented each year; the awards for the state park systems are presented biennially.

All the finalists for 2019, which includes state parks this year, plus more details may be found here. Congratulations to Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and Washington on being the state park systems finalists! The grand awards will be presented live at the opening session of the NRPA Conference in Baltimore on Tuesday, September 24.

Videos about their park system are included in the submissions as a part of their Gold Medal application. Click on the state for the video about their state park system:

Florida

Maryland

Tennessee

Washington

Congratulations to each for the quality park services they provide!

More info on AAPRA: American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration

Proclamations: June is Great Outdoors Month

More than half of the states have already proclaimed June 2019 Great Outdoors Month!  Since 2008, Governors from across the country have joined the President in proclaiming this month-long celebration of America’s great outdoors.  Click here for images and PDF versions of each proclamation.

How We Pay to Play: Funding Outdoor Recreation on Public Lands in the 21st Century

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

The recreational demands of the 21st century are bringing new challenges for public land management. This PERC Public Lands Report examines some of the primary sources of funding for outdoor recreation-related opportunities on public lands, aiming to be informative rather than claiming to be exhaustive or comprehensive. It demonstrates that by many measures, inflation-adjusted recreation-related funding is stagnant or declining despite increased attention on and demand for outdoor recreation. 

As public lands that provide outdoor recreation opportunities grow in importance, it’s worthwhile to examine how we fund and maintain those lands. Adequate funding will not in and of itself guarantee responsible stewardship of our public recreation lands. But recent trends suggest that many sources of recreation funds have either stagnated or declined in real terms, even as visitation has been increasing over the long term. An assessment of recreation-related funding sources and their trends can provide insights about different funding strategies and, ideally, help inform and improve the future of recreation on public lands.

‘All it Took was 25 Years’: Legislature Ponies Up Cash for Underfunded Texas Parks

After two decades of looting state park funding, lawmakers appropriated nearly $350 million this session, greenlit development of a new state park and gave voters a chance to maintain a long-term source.

San Solomon Springs at Balmorhea State Park.San Solomon Springs at Balmorhea State Park. FLICKR/CHRIS MCINNIS

Texas state parks have been a convenient piggy bank for the Legislature whenever money was short elsewhere, but this session they got their due. Lawmakers put more funding than ever into state parks, and additionally are giving voters a chance to approve a constitutional amendment this November to ensure a long-term source.
The amendment, passed by more than two-thirds of the House and Senate and signed by Governor Greg Abbott this weekend, is basically a fulfillment of funding that was promised in 1993. That year, lawmakers dedicated a portion of revenue from the sales tax on sporting goods to fund state parks — 94 percent of the revenue was meant for parks and the remaining 6 percent to the state’s 22 historic sites. Since then, though, legislators have consistently appropriated far less than parks’ full share, moving the money around to other parts of the budget and leaving some of the most beautiful and popular places in the state woefully underfunded. Until 2007, state parks’ slice of the sporting goods tax was capped at $32 million. Parks have received less than half of the dedicated revenue since 1993.


LEGISLATIVE BUDGET BOARD

The new constitutional amendment, which a majority of voters must approve this November, would guarantee that parks and historic sites get their share into the future. Ultimately, it’s a matter of catching up with intent from 1993.

In addition to the constitutional amendment, lawmakers ponied up funds — the full $322 million from the sporting goods tax revenue earmarked for state parks — that will be appropriated regardless of the November election. That’s about 10 times what parks were allotted in 2007, and marks the third consecutive session that parks got their full share owed under the law.

The success for state parks this session is about as good as it gets, according to George Bristol, the founder of the Texas Coalition for Conservation and former chair of the Texas State Parks Advisory Committee and Audubon Texas. Bristol has been lobbying the Legislature for the past nine sessions.

parks, enchanted rock

A long line to get into Enchanted Rock State Natural Area the morning of March 17, 2018.  EARL NOTTINGHAM/TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE

Advocates hope the Lege’s newfound appreciation for wide open spaces helps address issues caused by record visitor numbers (nearly 10 million in fiscal year 2017). Advance online reservations are just about the only assurance of getting in to the most popular parks during busy periods.

“We need more parks, and more parks close to our major metropolitan areas,” Bristol said.

More

State park attendance trends suggest parks will be overburdened by mid-century

A combined team of researchers from Utah State University and North Carolina State University has found evidence that suggests state parks in the U.S. will become so crowded by mid-century that states will have difficulty paying for their upkeep. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of historical attendance records of all the state parks in the country and what they mean for the future.

 

national park

State parks in the U.S. are a big deal. People from all walks of life visit parks to get away from the bustle of daily life. Combined, they greet far more visitors than the National Park system, and in general, enjoy a good reputation as a welcome respite. But that reputation might be in jeopardy if the state bureaucracies operating the parks do not take into account the rising numbers of visitors.

more

 

Governor Kelly on Great Outdoors Month

Brief but great video from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on June – Great Outdoors Month. Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism.

video

 

Trails Are Life … Arkansas State Parks

 

video

“These trails mean life to me, physically and mentally,” hiker Jerry Brown says. We feel the same way. Yes, a lot of thought goes into building and maintaining trails but it’s really about how they breathe life back into you; that is the magic. And that’s our focus at Arkansas State Parks. #ARStateParks

video