National Recreation Lakes Study
A Bad Program that must be stopped


There is no more egregious example of the recreation industry's ongoing attempt to "commercialize, privatize and motorize" America's public lands than the proposed National Recreation Lakes System.

This document originally appeared on the Internet at, but has been removed.

As a public service, Wild Wilderness has transcribed the original document in its entirety and returned this important information to the Internet. Paper copies of the original document are available upon request.

Coalition formed to spur lakes development

CHICAGO-- On Jan 22, a dozen boating and fishing organizations gathered in the Washington, D.C. offices of Chicago-based National marine Manufacturers Association, or NMMA, to draft a plan that will maximize the potential of the upcoming National Recreation Lakes Study.

Legislation was sponsored by Sen. Frank Murkowski of Alaska, which established a presidential commission to study the recreation opportunities of 2,100 federally managed artificially created lakes and reservoirs.

In addition to the secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and the Army, chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and designees from the national Governor's Association, commissioners will include representatives from the recreation tourism and resource fields. NMMA has recommended that a commissioner be chosen from the boat manufacturing community.

Jeff Napier, NMMA president, described the plan as a terrific prospect. "We are excited about the real possibility that the project will lead to a 'National Recreation Lakes System.' This would be an important addition to the American outdoor legacy that will mean more and better boating and fishing opportunities for millions of people across the country. For industry it should mean more boat and related equipment and service sales," Napier said.

Proponents of the system claim the best candidates are within four hours of major metropolitan areas and have limited public or private investment in marinas, launching ramps, campgrounds, resorts and other visitor facilities. "Involving the federal agencies responsible for managing the lakes will raise the awareness of funding and economic benefits of boating-based recreation and, over time, increase the supply of places to enjoy it. Improving sportfishing through habitat development and other steps is another logical outcome of the project," said Mick Blackistone, NMMA vice president of government relations.

The commission will be presented with background and briefing papers detailing the need for additional access, economic benefits that happen when boating and fishing enhancements are put in place, and ancillary gains for related tourism ourlets. When chosen, the commission chairman will be invited to speak at NMMA's legislative seminar in May, and plan are underway to for a special presentation for members of Congress in June. The commission is scheduled to release its findings in January 1998.



NMMA is a member company of the American Recreation Coalition.

Jeff Napier is a Member of the Board, of the American Recreation Coalition.

The National Recreation Lakes Study is hopelessly behind schedule. Its report was due in November 1997. Unfortunately, the study has finally begun.


To go to the web site of ARC click here.


This document was prepared by Wild Wilderness. To learn more about ongoing industry-backed congressional efforts to motorize, commercialize, and privatize America's public lands, contact:

Scott Silver, Executive Director,
Wild Wilderness
248 NW Wilmington Avenue,  Bend  OR 97701
Phone (541) 385-5261    E-mail: