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February 21, 2007
America Outdoors E-News
||Representative DeFazio (D-OR) Proposes to Kill Forest
Service Recreation Fee Initiative
||The amenity fees approved under the Federal Land Recreation
Enhancement Act (REA), which are now being used to inventory and close some
Forest Service recreation facilities, may be revised or eliminated if
Representative DeFazio (D-OR) has his way. DeFazio accepts the notion of fees
for campgrounds but has concerns about other elements of REA. He wants REA
repealed and a new bill voted on through the appropriate committee processes.
The existing legislation was stuffed into a huge Appropriations bill in 2004
and hustled through Congress bypassing the formal committee process. Hearings
were held, but the bill was never voted out of the House Committee on Natural
Resources, now reorganized under Democratic control.
REA is also being used as the authorization for
outfitter and guides fees. It allows most of the fees to be retained by agency
where they are collected. DeFazio is a member of the House Committee on Natural
Resources. For outfitters the expanded amenity fee is collected for use of high
impact areas, specialized boat launching facilities with toilets and parking,
and trail heads with facilities, such as pack stations. Since any new
legislation could impact outfitter and guide fees, including permit fees, AO
will follow this effort closely.
||Is Your Reservation Staff Helping You Make the
||America Outdoors has signed an agreement with Signature
Worldwide to provide two marketing programs to members: Mystery Phone Shops and
Regional Reservations Training sessions for your staff. These programs are
designed to help you manage the customer experience from the first phone
Mystery Phone Shops. The Mystery Phone Shopping
program starts when a Signature 'shopper' will call your company and inquire
regarding your services and pricing. They will behave like just another
customer. This phone call will be recorded into Signature's shopping system and
you will be able to listen to the call and coach your staff. Signature will
also provide a score sheet on the call.
These calls are a great
window into the customer experience and provide an important dose of reality.
Almost all of your customer interaction begins with a phone call. These Mystery
Shopping calls will help you determine if your employees are promoting all your
services appropriately. You will hear for yourself if they are promoting your
products, building a relationship with the caller, asking for the sale, and
qualifying the caller. All of these components will impact your business and
Your investment in the mystery shopping program will be
a one-time set up fee of $100 (per organization) and $30 per shop. A minimum of
12 shops must be requested over a four month period. Please use this
Form for the program.
specializes in delivering customized training programs that provide frontline
staff the tools and skills to consistently exceed customers' expectations.
Contact Barry Himmel at 800-398-0518 for more information
||Coast Guard Goaded by NPS
to Require Regulation of Motorized Raft Trips
||The U.S. Coast Guard is developing inspection and
regulatory criteria for motorized inflatable raft trips in Utah and below Glen
Canyon Dam. In Utah State Parks will conduct the inspections. The new
requirements, which were not made known in the prospectus for one outfitter,
have cost their operation nearly $14,000 for just half of their twenty boat
Abandon ship drills, pressure testing and stability tests are all
part of the inspection regime which the outfitter has to pay for. Any
modification of the vessel requires a new inspection by the Coast Guard. Since
some of these inflatable vessels are de-rigged often, this will present a new
challenge to the inspection regime.
||Jim Segerstrom Founder
of Swiftwater Rescue Technician Program Dies
||Jim Segerstrom, the founder
of the Swiftwater Rescue Technician Program and a partner in Rescue 3, passed
away Feb. 5th. Many in A.O. will remember Jim from a Western River Guides
Convention in Salt Lake City in 1980 where he spoke to us about a new Swift
Water Rescue Certification Program he had created and a new organization called
Jim grew the Swift Water Rescue Technician Program into a highly
regarded training program, known worldwide. The training is now offered in over
30 countries throughout the world and is regarded as the state of the art swift
He had suffered a
small stroke on Thursday, February 1, followed by a second one while in the
hospital. He was transferred to the neurological ICU at UC San Francisco's
Moffitt Hospital where he passed away on February 5.
Our thoughts and
prayers are with Shiree, Christian, the Segerstrom Family, the Tuolumne County
Search and Rescue, and the hundreds of friends Jim had around the globe.
||Return to top of page
America Outdoors® Inc., PO Box 10847, Knoxville, TN, 37939
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