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  • NPHA Newsletter
    Fed Parks and Rec September 4 2015 Fed Parks and Rec August 7 2015 Fed Parks and Rec July 24 2015 Fed Parks and Rec Bulletin 8 July 20 2015 Fed Parks and Rec July 10 2015 Fed Parks and Rec June 12 2015 Fed Parks and Rec May 15 2015 Fed Parks and Rec May 1 2015 Fed Parks and Rec Bulletin 5 April 27 2015 Fed Parks and Rec April 17 2015 Fed Parks and Rec April 3 2015 Fed Parks and Rec March 13 2015 Fed Parks and Rec February 27 2015 Fed Parks and Rec February 13 2015 Fed Parks and Rec January 30 2015 Fed Parks and Rec January 16 2015 Fed Parks and Rec Bulletin 1 January 12 2015 Fed Parks and Rec December 19 2014 Federal Parks and Rec Bulletin 12 December 15 2014 Fed Parks and Rec November 21 2014 Fed Parks and Rec November 7 2014 Fed Parks and Rec October 24 2014 Fed Parks and Rec October 10 2014 Fed Parks and Rec September 26 2014 Fed Parks and Rec September 12 2014 Fed Parks and Rec August 29 2014 Fed Parks and Rec August 1 2014 Fed Parks and Rec July 18 2014 Fed Parks and Rec July 3 2014 Fed Parks and Rec June 20 2014 Fed Parks and Rec June 6 2014 Fed Parks and Rec May 23 2014 Federal Actions Park Partners Resource Guide Contact Park Partners 2014 and Beyond About NPHA NPHA Newsletter This monthly resource will keep members up to date on association activities government affairs and trends affecting concessioner interests The e newsletter will deliver concise summaries of the latest park partner news 2015 Fall 2015 April 2015 February 2015 2014 November 2014 September 2014 Summer 2014 Spring 2014 2013 December 2013 November

    Original URL path: http://www.parkpartners.org/NPHA-Newsletter.html (2016-02-11)
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  • focusing on the National Park Service NPS concessions program The Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Interior held a hearing titled Modernizing the National Park Service Concession Program on July 23 Rep Cynthia Lummis R WY chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Interior opened the hearing by lauding national parks for leading the way on public private partnerships to serve visitors with private funds building many of the park structures providing lodging and food services to visitors since the late 1800s She noted that public private partnerships are now emerging as key elements in the nation s surface transportation and water policies Witnesses at the hearing included NPHA Chairman Terry MacRae CEO of Hornblower Cruises Grand Teton Lodge Company and Flagg Ranch Company Vice President and General Manager Alex Klein and Historic Tours of America CEO Chris Belland MacRae Klein and Belland offered expert testimony about the challenges and opportunities that face concessioners operating in national parks including constraints on responding to opportunities for enhancing park experiences especially mid contract Mr Belland spoke on the future of national park concessions saying While I realize the National Park Service is not a business per se it is in business and its future is likely to depend more than ever on the marketplace and its ability to be relevant to the leisure industry He noted that tourism and recreation are a trillion dollar economic sector He noted that a delay of nearly two years in approving an increase in the passengers allowed on the Dry Tortugas National Park concessions ferry deprived some 10 000 visitors of an experience in the park and caused a substantial loss of NPS revenues Mr Klein called for key changes in concession operations saying A system designed to reward those that provide excellence in concession operations would benefit both incumbent concessioners as well as the National Park Service Rather than challenging ourselves to innovate every time a concession contract comes up it would encourage constant innovation and excellence in the performance of a contract NPHA Chairman MacRae applauded agency efforts to encourage all Americans to visit parks He noted though Stagnant park visitation over the past two decades reflects more competing leisure choices today and reduced in park visitor activity choices potential visitors are choosing other destinations There are fewer park campsites fewer lodging rooms fewer restaurant seats fewer ranger led walks fewer tours and outings Visitor services eliminated by NPS have not been offset by new outdoor activities and special events Other NPHA members including Forever Resorts The California Parks Company Gettysburg Tours and TRF Concessions Specialists of Florida submitted informative written statements as did former NPHA member Acadia Corporation and Dyno Ventures a communications technology company To read more excerpts and full testimony from the hearing and to watch the archived footage visit http parkpartners org July 2015 Hearings html Additional witnesses included NPS CFO Lena McDowell Legislation reflecting NPHA suggestions is now being drafted by House Committee staffers Testimony is available

    Original URL path: http://www.parkpartners.org/Fall-2015.html (2016-02-11)
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  • April 2015 Newsletter
    LEARN ABOUT CONCESSIONS CONTRACTS Sessions on the first day included nearly two hours of exchanges with the GAO team looking at the financial operations of the NPS at the request of key members of the United States Senate including Senator Lisa Murkowski R AK Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources The four GAO staffers involved in the study showed high interest in concessioner suggestions for expanding visitor services which would improve the quality and quantity of visitor experiences without additional costs to taxpayers and with real opportunities to reduce the growing backlog of deferred maintenance within national parks Return to top MEMBERS OFFER IDEAS AND ASSISTANCE FOR EVERY KID IN A PARK NPHA members also met with a key White House Council on Environmental Quality official Michael Degnan to discuss the Administration s America s Great Outdoors initiative and the President s newly launched Every Kid in a Park program Concessioners shared information about initiatives already in place to host kids in parks and outlined ways concessioners could help with the anticipated visits of 4 million fourth graders to national and state parks in the academic year beginning September 2015 and in each year thereafter Alex Klein described plans for a May 2015 visit by a Title I school to Grand Teton National Park and Michael expressed enthusiasm for the support of the concessioner and interest in using the event as an example of cooperation to make Every Kid in a Park a sustainable effort Return to top NPS DIRECTOR JON JARVIS DISCUSSES NPS PRIORITIES NPS Director Jon Jarvis joined the meeting at noon on Day Two for remarks about NPS priorities and goals and especially about the agency s efforts to become more relevant to all Americans through outreach and promotion Concessioners offered support for the NPS efforts but underscored the need to provide quality experiences to more and more diverse visitors Return to top NEW NPS COMMERCIAL SERVICES CHIEF BRIAN BORDA MEETS WITH CONCESSIONERS NPHA members participated in a robust discussion with five members of the NPS Commercial Services team under the new leadership of Brian Borda Information on Brian and a copy of the team s presentation are available at parkpartners org 2015 Annual Meeting html The discussions were focused on four key topics 1 How to make prospectuses catalysts for great offers and reduce costs to NPS and concessioners 2 How to encourage and reward excellence in concessioner performance 3 How to respond well to changes in visitors technology and during the concessions contract period including how to expedite trials and modifications of visitor services 4 Adding concessioner provided services in units currently without concessioners that can help increase and distribute overall visitation to the national park system At the conclusion of the productive exchange of information and ideas Chairman Terry MacRae and Brian agreed to increase communications and sharing of information through meetings and calls during the next year including meetings in key parks and at key regional offices Return to top

    Original URL path: http://www.parkpartners.org/April-2015.html (2016-02-11)
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  • country gathered in Washington D C October 20 22 for the NPHA 2014 Fall Meeting Supporting America s Parks for the Next 100 Years The three day meeting kicked off on Monday October 20 with a Board of Directors meeting followed by a reception and dinner at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center Tuesday began with another Board of Directors meeting followed by a General Session Topics included NPHA Strategic Plan NPHA Membership Committee Report NPHA Dues Committee Report Healthy Parks Healthy People and other key issues Mark Preston representing new NPHA member TripAdvisor shared insights on how concessioners could capitalize on the company s 280 million unique monthly visitors and the peer to peer sharing of trip experiences that takes place at its site now boasting 170 million reviews including reviews of park visits A copy of the presentation is available in the members only section of www parkpartners org From there the action moved to the U S Department of the Interior s South Building where exciting and informative sessions were held on a variety of topics including Why the Outdoors Sells to Today s Travelers Millennials and the Outdoors Fortifying the Outdoor Legacy for Latino Americans Centennial Actions Logos Events and More as well as a presentation on the results of the NPHA member survey on Enhanced Visitor Services The presentations were followed by a reception at the U S Department of the Interior s South Penthouse The reception offered NPHA members the opportunity to discuss informally the NPS Centennial campaign with top officials from NPS NPF and Grey and interact with top Interior executives Wednesday featured roundtable discussions with NPS officials and a Legal Issues Roundtable with Kevin Garden Managing Director The Garden Law Firm PC and Alan Saltman Partner Smith Currie Hancock LLP The meeting also included spotlights on new NPHA Associate Members Dowdle Folk Art Thompson Little Inc TripAdvisor and Old Hickory Furniture Company To see PDF versions of the presentations given by TripAdvisor and Thompson Little Inc click here Return to Top CENTENNIAL CAMPAIGN SESSION SHEDS LIGHT ON KEY ACTIONS One of the most important features of the 2014 NPHA Fall Meeting was the session held Tuesday October 21 titled Centennial Actions Logos Events and More Representatives from the National Park Service GREYnyc and marketing firm M Style were on hand to give concessioners some insight into what they could expect when the campaign begins in FY2015 NPS Centennial Office Chief Alexa Viets kicked things off with a description of the NPS efforts to improve its digital engagement with potential visitors including a retrofit of www nps gov to make it more mobile friendly and greater efforts to connect visitors with the stories and themes contained in their national parks The team from GREYnyc led by Partner Ken Dowling then took center stage Dowling showcased GREYnyc s efforts to boost the level of recognition the Centennial and the Park Service as a whole have in the consciousness of every day Americans They

    Original URL path: http://www.parkpartners.org/November-2014.html (2016-02-11)
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  • Summer 2014 Newsletter
    call email Ben Nasta at 202 682 9530 or bnasta funoutdoors com Return to Top FEDERAL REPORTS ON VISITOR SPENDING IN GATEWAY COMMUNITIES National park visitors contributed 26 5 billion to the nation s economy and supported almost 240 000 jobs in 2013 according to a peer reviewed report released on July 18 by National Park Service Director Jonathan B Jarvis The big picture of national parks and their importance to the economy is clear Jarvis said Every tax dollar invested in the National Park Service returns 10 to the U S economy because of visitor spending in gateway communities near the 401 parks of the National Park System National park visitation for 2013 declined by 3 2 percent compared to 2012 According to the report the 16 day government shutdown last October accounted for most of the decline National parks in the Northeast closed for Hurricane Sandy related repairs were the other significant brake on visitation Visitor spending for 2013 was down by 1 percent The number of jobs supported by visitor spending was off by 2 1 percent and the overall effect on the U S economy was 1 percent lower than the previous year due to adjustments for inflation Jarvis said visitation so far this year indicated a rebound from 2013 and he expects a steady increase as excitement grows in advance of the 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service The Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation FICOR also released a report on jobs and income at the lands managed by the council s seven member agencies for 2012 FICOR s report concluded that among the agencies there were 938 million visitors who spent 51 billion and supported 880 000 jobs in gateway communities The full National Park Service report can be found here The FICOR report can be found here Return to Top 2014 NATIONAL PARK VISITATION TO DATE The National Park Service reports monthly data on visits to each unit and systemwide Data through June 2014 suggest that 2014 visitation may rise above 2013 to near 2012 levels However visits to park units which collect fees including parks where most concessioners operate reported a decline in visitation for the first six months of the year of over 3 and a decline of about 4 5 for June To obtain the data see here National and park specific reports can be generated from the website for overall recreation visits concessioner lodging concessioner camping tent camping RV camping and backcountry camping For example the report on concessioner lodging for the first half of 2014 shows a 6 7 growth over the comparable period of 2013 The report on visits to fee collecting parks through July including visitation breakdowns for each NPS unit can be seen here Return to Top DELAWARE NORTH COMPANIES MAKES 3 MILLION COMMITMENT TO H O P E PROJECTS Key park concessioner Delaware North Companies has announced plans to contribute more than 3 million to Hands On Preservation Experience H O P E programs in Shenandoah Yellowstone Kings Canyon and other parks over the next 18 months The H O P E project is a joint undertaking of The Corps Network and the National Trust for Historic Preservation NTHP The projects will be modeled after a very successful pilot program that took place in Shenandoah National Park where a historic national park stable was rebuilt by eight urban youth employed by a conservation corps and mentored by restoration experts provided by NTHP overseen by the National Park Service and paid for by Delaware North Companies The project was completed at less cost more rapidly than standard historic restoration projects and with many serendipities including skills training for and park exposure to the corps members The commitment was announced at a gathering in Gettysburg hosted by the Franklin Project of the Aspen Institute focusing on reconstituting the national service legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps through the 21 st Century Conservation Service Corps NPHA and the National Trust are planning online and in person sessions to help share the how to information about H O P E Return to Top ARAMARK CELEBRATES KIDS TO PARKS DAY To celebrate the National Park Trust s 4 th annual Kids to Parks Day ARAMARK hosted a free treasure hunt for kids at Mesa Verde National Park on Saturday May 17 ARAMARK is a proud national sponsor of Kids to Parks Day and Mesa Verde s park concessioner Kids who came out to Mesa Verde were invited to take part in an outdoor nature treasure hunt using clues provided by ARAMARK America s parks provide a perfect opportunity for families to connect with and explore nature and ARAMARK is committed to finding new innovative ways to enrich these experiences through meaningful partnerships and fun educational programs said ARAMARK Leisure Services President Bruce W Fears Started in 2011 Kids to Parks Day is a national movement encouraging kids to get out and explore local state and national parks and public lands to discover science history and outdoor recreation opportunities Return to Top FLREA REVISIONS ADVANCE The U S House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on July 30 unanimously approved for floor action legislation on recreation fees that revises and extends the Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act The measure continues to authorize federal land managers to charge entrance fees allow agencies to retain a large portion of fee revenues locally for services and facilities now 90 versus 80 previously and require more transparency in fee collection and use and would curtail new and increased fees for national forests and BLM managed areas Some issues remain in discussion including cost and age limits for senior passes how concessioners treat pass related discounts and whether the U S Army Corps of Engineers will be included in the legislation Some 300 million in federal agency recreation program funding is at stake The House has conducted two hearings on recreation fees and has documented broad support for fee programs that are transparent and which

    Original URL path: http://www.parkpartners.org/Summer-2014.html (2016-02-11)
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  • December 2013 Newsletter
    a campsite and unloading just needed personal items but who are also likely to rely on other park visitor facilities like food service and want to avoid the uncertainties of weather and timing associated with use of their own equipment The Rent a Tent program would address the significant decline in overnight campground stays within national parks over the past two decades tent camper nights are down some 1 2 million while RV camper nights are down some 1 6 million The program would be offered by existing national park concessioners as a pilot effort designed to assess whether the program warrants inclusion in future concessions contracts or as a CUA Coleman will make available suitable tents air mattresses electric lanterns and more Concessioners will have personnel trained in providing tent set up and removal cleaning and repairs and more A meeting in the Las Vegas area in early 2014 is planned to test out the equipment and pick the pilot sites To be involved in the discussions ask to join in at dcrandall funoutdoors com Return to top CENTENNIAL UPDATE The Grey Centennial Campaign designed to build awareness of national parks connect new generations to our parks and increase support for parks will soon be unveiled Research was shared at the NPHA fall meeting and ideas on logos and licensing have been shared with the Centennial Advisory Committee Discussions about logo use are planned for a January session of the Committee s Executive Group and the creatives for the campaign will be presented to the full Committee in mid February The campaign is designed to attract the interest of Millennials and especially urban diverse Millennials while also maintaining the enthusiasm of current park visitors The NPS is also reviewing hundreds of proposed Centennial Projects and Programs including a number submitted by NPHA and its members About a dozen of these ideas are likely to be designated signature projects and gain active NPS and NPF support but NPS plans to encourage a far larger number of projects NPHA is urging selection of a number of programs including Group Tour Industry Certifies Guides Tours Working with NPHA the National Tour Association proposes a tour certification program for both domestic and international groups visiting national parks The National Tour Association believes that groups should receive substantial information both about the national park system and specific parks visited using both specially prepared video content shown on the tour bus during approach and a specially trained guide on the bus able to answer questions and deliver relevant and timely information Each day hundreds of tour buses enter national parks and for some debarkation at the park visitor center begins the education and interpretation process A much better process can be developed reducing demand on visitor center staff and delivering additional information that addresses the NPS Centennial and topics such as global warming and the NPS role Key to this process is creation of a certification program where tour companies would utilize both existing and available tools as well as new resources developed through the combined efforts of the National Tour Association NPHA and NPS Companies that implement the program would be permitted indeed encouraged to note that they have received certification as a NPS Centennial Interpretive Partner NPS Centennial Fellowships NPS Centennial Fellowships are proposed for young adults with a special emphasis on engaging underserved and diverse youth to learn about and contribute to the efforts of several organizations operating in a single national park The Fellow would spend time with the National Park Service a concessioner and a nonprofit organization operating in the park ideally on a single program such as visitor interpretation and education or communications Fellows would rotate among the organizations much as medical students rotate through various hospital departments This rotation would have the dual benefit of building awareness of alternative ways to contribute to the success of America s national parks full operation and of helping to integrate the efforts of key park partners Fellows would utilize the power of social media as they provide blogs and photos and document experiences outcomes while promoting the NPS Centennial parks programs and participants Funding for each Fellowship could be derived from the Guest Donation Programs in major parks Goals for the program would be to have at least 100 Fellows annually by 2015 and to continue the program for at least 20 years Fellows would be offered 1 000 per month coverage under the Student Conservation Association healthcare and related benefits program accommodations and transportation assistance Free Photos from Parks for Christmas Cards and More Under this proposal concessioners would cooperate with key university fine arts programs to arrange for youth with photographic skills to be at iconic park locations during peak season periods of 2014 2015 and 2016 to take high quality photographs of the visitors by family or group We will suggest the photos be shared via social media including Facebook Instagram and Twitter and used as photographs sent to family and friends with holiday messages Using the photographs will undoubtedly deliver a message to each sender s network of friends and relatives about the great fun had during the visit This system will be appreciated because the trained student photographers will be skilled at selecting backdrops lighting and more the full group family will be in the picture the image will be better than most consumers could create This program is based upon very good response to free family photos offered by concessioners in conjunction with fee free days in parks Concessioners will also offer high resolution versions of the free picture and additional shots at a price approved through the normal concession rate approval process generating a new stream of franchise fees Return to top NPS RELEASES DRAFT PLAN TO KEEP BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK OPEN TO BOATING AND FISHING The National Park Service NPS has released a Supplemental Draft General Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement for Biscayne National Park in Florida The supplemental plan was developed in

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  • November 2013 Newsletter
    applauded NPS and NPPC executed the Agreement to formalize and encourage joint activities to promote visitation to the national parks both domestically with particular focus on youth and underserved communities and abroad To achieve this common goal NPS and NPPC agreed to take several specific actions create a team of senior managers that will meet at least twice a year to oversee the implementation of the agreement work collaboratively to promote visitation to national parks analyze research on current and potential park visitors to understand perceptions of national parks identify opportunities to change enhance and expand those park perceptions through marketing and communication develop a five year marketing and communications strategy prepare annual work plans to implement the strategy and evaluate the strategy annually and update as needed The Agreement s initial term will be five years followed by additional five year extensions as approved by both groups Return to top NORTHEAST REGIONAL SUMMIT SET FOR DECEMBER 9TH A NPS NPHA regional summit will be held with Northeast Regional Director Dennis Reidenbach and his team on December 9th in the Northeast Regional headquarters in Philadelphia The agenda will cover a number of key topics the October shutdown including lessons learned ongoing challenges and future guidelines funding expectations for FY14 and any operational implications Centennial initiatives planned and or possible in the region and regional concessions activities In addition to Mr Reidenbach NPS participants will likely include Deputy Regional Directors Mike Caldwell and Gay Vietzke and Northeast Region Chief of Concessions Ethan McKinley National Parks of New York Harbor Commissioner Joshua Laird has been invited A number of NPHA members have already confirmed their participation including Acadia Corporation Delaware North Companies Evelyn Hill Gettysburg Tours and Hornblower Cruises Other NPHA members are welcome but are asked to notify NPHA Counselor Derrick Crandall dcrandall funoutdoors com of their attendance plans no later than noon on December 6th Return to top SECRETARY SALLY JEWELL LAYS OUT VISION FOR DOI FUTURE Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell delivered a major speech on October 31 2013 outlining her vision for the future of the U S Department of the Interior Her remarks focused on initiatives related to conservation balanced development of public land resources and strengthened connections between young people and the nation s public lands She opened her remarks by addressing the shutdown of the federal government which had ended mid month She described the shutdown s most visible impact as the shuttering of our national parks wildlife refuges and other public lands She decried the economic losses suffered by businesses including national park concessioners and gateway communities dependent on public lands but also noted a silver lining to the shutdown s cloud The shutdown shined a spotlight on just how much Americans love and value their public lands and the people who serve them Secretary Jewell described President Obama s America s Great Outdoors initiative as an important part of his plan for a conservation legacy in recognition of the moral obligation to the next generation to leave our land water and wildlife better than we found it She called for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund passage of a comprehensive public lands package conserving our nation s most special lands and waters and the encouragement of development in the right ways and in the right places The Secretary also offered a plan for engaging the next generation in understanding and stewarding our public lands She expressed great concern that millions of young people have grown up with little connection to the natural world a situation that she described as threatening the future stewardship of public lands The plan to solve this problem she explained involves providing millions of young people with new opportunities for recreation education volunteerism work and training And the goals are specific and ambitious partnerships in 50 cities to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for more than 10 million young people by 2017 educational opportunities on public lands for at least 10 million K 12 students every year volunteer engagement of one million young people on public lands by 2017 and 100 000 work and training opportunities for young people at federal land management agencies over the next four years To reach these goals the Secretary described her plan to prioritize budgets build on successful programs and leverage resources from partners like schools and communities She also plans to raise 20 million in partnership with corporate and nonprofit groups From my experience in the private sector I know that there are many organizations and individuals that want to see our lands protected and the next generation engaged she said We will work together to make these goals a reality Return to top NATIONAL SERVICE PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE MOVES FORWARD In late November on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy The Corps Network the Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps and the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute teamed up to host a private sector working session to explore how public and private sector partners can work together to protect and conserve the nation s natural resources while providing opportunities for national service and for the development of employment skills to young people and veterans NPHA Counselor Derrick Crandall attended and offered these observations afterwards OK I ll fess up I want to be part of a big idea that gets this nation back on course And that is why I found today s session with retired General Stan McChrystal former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne former Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Harris Wofford and others so inspirational McChrystal was passionate and cogent He talked about his belief that being a citizen was much more than just voting and paying taxes It was about taking an active part in supporting something much bigger our nation He talked about how military service was good for some but that service was just as important teaching in inner cities or working on public lands

    Original URL path: http://www.parkpartners.org/Nov-2013.html (2016-02-11)
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  • July/August 2013 Newsletter
    Derrick Crandall at dcrandall funoutdoors com Return to top CMAB UPDATE The NPS Concessions Management Advisory Board will meet on October 30 at the U S Department of the Interior The meeting is open to all interested persons The agenda will include reports by the three working groups created following the fall 2012 meeting at Shenandoah National Park to address 1 simplified procedures for small concessioners 2 concessioner recognition and incentives 3 innovative commercial visitor services All three of the working groups are now active and concessioners are playing a role in each CMAB action on recommendations is expected for several of the groups at the October meeting For details on specific efforts contact the following staff Simplified procedures for small concessioners Anne Altman anne altman nps gov Recognition Incentives Kurt Rausch Kurt Rausch nps gov Innovative commercial visitor services Deb Hecox debra hecox nps gov Return to top NPHA STRATEGIC PLAN FOR 2014 2018 UNDER DEVELOPMENT NPHA s Executive Committee is developing a Strategic Plan for the organization for 2014 and beyond The planning effort has included a review of key accomplishments since 2007 when NPHA undertook a substantial change in operations The effort also has included an examination of potential priority actions for the next five years including the 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service In addition the review includes consideration of ways to provide the association with the resources needed to undertake priority missions like maintenance of active communications with NPS officials and leaders of other national park partner organizations A proposed Strategic Plan will be presented to the NPHA Board on September 16 in a conference call Further discussions and adoption of the plan are central agenda items for the October 27 29 NPHA meeting in Washington D C A background memorandum prepared by NPHA staff on accomplishments and key future opportunities is available here Among the key issues being discussed by the Executive Committee are 1 Ways to make the NPS Centennial effort including a proposed national campaign being designed by Grey beneficial to concessioners 2 Strategies for overcoming real challenges created by the 1998 concessions act at a time when private investment in park visitor infrastructure is especially necessary 3 Opportunities for concessioners to play a central role in new financial models for parks and the NPS overall and 4 Overcoming a disconnect between national agreement on agency concessioner cooperation and field level relationships NPHA resources for future operations are likely to be generated by changes to dues structure and rates and by additional funding channels and might even be connected to major initiatives such as a national research and marketing program Return to top KEY TRANSITIONS John Wessels until recently NPS Intermountain Regional Director has left the agency to join the American Battle Monuments Commission ABMC as the Director Overseas Operations headquartered in Paris France He left the NPS effective August 24 John has been supportive of closer coordination between NPS and concessioners and a leader in innovative thinking within NPS including on financial models that make the agency more able to meet its missions in a sustainable way Christie Goldfuss has been selected as the new NPS Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance She replaces Mickey Fearn She has been at the Center for American Progress as Director of its Public Lands Project She has been on the staff of the House Committee on Natural Resources where she focused on policies and legislation affecting the U S Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management Earlier in her career she was a television reporter in California and Nevada covering many stories from communities neighboring public lands Through telling those stories she became interested in lands policies She received a bachelor s degree in political science at Brown University She can be reached through the Director s office phone 202 208 3818 and through Claire Rozdilski nps gov Gail Adams has left her position as the U S Department of the Interior s Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs for a position in the private sector in Houston Gail played a key role in development of the President s National Strategy on Travel and Tourism highlighting the importance of parks and other federal lands and waters in attracting international visitors She also played a central role in facilitating National Park Service participation in IPW the International Pow Wow Replacing her on an acting basis will be Deputy Director Terri Johnson who can be reached at 202 208 7513 or Terri Johnson ios doi gov Glacier Park Inc will conclude its 30 year service as the concessioner at Glacier National Park at the end of 2013 Taking over operations in the park will be Xanterra The decision by the National Park Service surprised many and has generated numerous media accounts The most comprehensive story appeared in the Flathead Beacon To read this story click here Return to top BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT AT SENATE HEARING SUPPLEMENTAL PARK FUNDING NEEDED The U S Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a three hour session on supplemental funding for America s national parks on July 25 2013 that was both unusual and encouraging The hearing took place at the full committee level unusual when the topic national parks is clearly in the jurisdiction of a single subcommittee Both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the full committee and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the National Parks Subcommittee took part in the hearing Eleven U S Senators participated in the hearing six Democrats and five Republicans U S Senator Tom Coburn R OK a major force in the Senate on restraining federal spending was the lead off witness The interaction among the committee members was friendly and overwhelmingly supportive of actions to attack the deferred maintenance backlog in parks and develop a more fiscally sustainable national park program in conjunction with the NPS Centennial Senator Coburn has vigorously challenged new additions to the national park system as counter productive to adequately caring for existing park

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