The following is an except from a 1081 page OUTDOOR RECREATION READER prepared for the US Senate Committee that oversees the management of America's public lands.

Chairman Frank Murkowski introduces this "reader" by reminding committee members that recreation is not only about "fun and games". It's about money and partnerships with the private sector!

The First article is written by the President of the American Recreation Coalition, Derrick Crandall This article sets the stage for the next 100 or so to follow. Not one article in this reader addresses any issue pertaining to the environmental implications of pursuing "wreckreation for profit" as the management standard for public lands. Not one article expresses a dissenting opinion.

The Final article of this reader drives home the oft made conclusiong that PRIVATIZATION of recreational opportunities public lands will be the future for what once were - OUR PUBLIC LANDS.

The material that follows is transcribed from document ISBN 0-16-057007-7, and is available from the U.S. Government Printing Sales Office.








Printed for the use of the
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


Washington 1998


Washington, DC, March 27, 1998.

To Members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:

The work of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources touches the lives of Americans in many ways but few ways are more important than its oversight of the nationís parks and recreation resources. Recreation is a fundamental expression of our national character. Recreation has important individual and societal benefits. People who recreate are happier and healthier individuals. Communities which provide recreation resources are desirable places to live. Recreation also makes a significant contribution to the nationís economy. Unfortunately, we too often ignore the benefits of recreation believing instead that recreation is only about fun and games.

As we enter the 21st century, I believe it is time for Congress to examine the role, and importance, of outdoor recreation in American lives. Congress needs to do all it can to ensure that recreational opportunities are available to all Americans whether they live in the inner city or the wilds of Alaska. This does not mean, though, that the responsibility for meeting the recreation needs of Americans lies solely with the Federal government. Rather, Federal agencies must work in partnership with private entities, the States, and local governments. Congress can provide invaluable leadership in such endeavors.

Accordingly, to help the Members of the Committee, the Senate, and the public who share our interest in outdoor recreation, I asked the Congressional Research Service to assemble a comprehensive collection of information addressing a number of outdoor recreation topics and issues. The material which follows should assist us as we confront the challenge of meeting the ever changing needs of Americans for outdoor recreation resources. I commend this committee print to my colleagues for the wealth of wisdom that it reflects.


Concluding paragraphs of the first article to appear in this Congressional Reader.

Title: The Recreation Industry
Author: Derrick A. Crandall, President, American Recreation Coalition

Strategies to providing sufficient, high-quality recreational opportunities for the 21st century have been considered by a national commission in the United States (Presidentís Commission on Americans Outdoors, 1985-7) as well as the Recreation Roundtable, an industry organization. Both have concluded that public/private partnerships, innovative ways to finance recreational infrastructure such as trails, and environmental education/outdoors ethics and skills training are essential tools to accommodate increasing numbers of people enjoying a growing number of different, and sometimes conflicting, activities on a finite base of land and water.

Concluding paragraphs of the last article to appear in this Congressional Reader.

Title: Trends in Outdoor Recreation Management and Policymaking - New Problems, New Solutions
Author: Larry Mutter, Georgia Southern University

Commercial Sector

As the demand for outdoor recreation grows, and federal and state budgets are streamlined, the commercial outdoor recreation provider will likely capture a larger market share and thus bear a greater responsibility for outdoor recreation service delivery. Concomitant with this responsibility should be a commitment to educate the user on the proper utilization of recreation resources and on outdoor ethics.

The commercial sector must be willing partners in collaborative management efforts in an attempt to deliver an overall quality service or product to the user. They must be willing to sponsor events in parks and recreation areas that benefit the user, enable the agency to fulfill its mission, and bring exposure to their business. In addition, the privatization of recreation services on public lands will accelerate with agencies spending increased time in contract monitoring and management. In summary, implications of the trends identified in this session for the commercial sector are:

  • The commercial sector will bear a larger responsibility for outdoor recreation service delivery.

  • Commercial providers will bear greater responsibility for educating users on outdoor ethics.

  • Commercial providers must be willing partners in collaborative management efforts.

  • Privatization of recreation services and facilities on public lands will increase with agencies spending more time monitoring and managing contracts with private providers.


    The implications of trends noted in this session for research are:

  • Research activities will focus on documenting successful collaborative management, volunteer, and benefits-based approaches to outdoor recreation management and planning and disseminating the information to a wide web of providers.

  • Outdoor recreation providers will increasingly adopt benefits- based research programs for reasons related to user satisfaction and fiscal accountability.

  • In response to fiscal constraints, an even greater emphasis will be placed on conducting utilization-focused research and evaluation.