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MASSIVE Army Corps Recreation Privatization Item Sneaked Onto 2007 Budget!

The President's 2007 is so loaded with privatization proposals that neither
watchdog organizations nor the media have found them all. For example, I've
seen no mention anywhere of the whooper of a privatization proposal known as
the "Recreation Modernization Initiative." Unless one was already tracking
this and knew exactly what to look for, it's doubtful whether even the most
careful reader of the President's Budget would have recognized what this
was. Unless one knew the history of this proposal, it would be impossible to
assess the scope of this monumental threat.
From:  ssilver@wildwilderness.org
Subject: Massive Army Corps Recreation Privatization Item Sneaked Onto 2007 Budget
Date: February 12, 2006 8:04:18 PM PST
To:  ssilver@wildwilderness.org

Pasted immediately below is page 104 of a newly issued Army Corps document.
That document explains how the President's budget will affect the Army Corps
of Engineers. Page 104 briefly introduces the new Recreation Modernization
Initiative.

Below that, I have provided another official Army Corps explanation of this
same proposal -- an explanation I sent to my network as a warning BACK IN
2000.

The key to understanding the active role taken by the recreation industry in
the creation of this privatization initiative is NOWHERE stated in either of
the Army Corps documents. That key can be found in a memo I obtained through
personal contacts and have made available for inspection at
www.wildwilderness.org/docs/acememo.pdf . The memo was sent to the Army
Corps by the President of the American Recreation Coalition, Derrick
Crandall.

What the President's budget attempts to pass into law is a slightly scaled
down version of the American Recreation Coalition's National Recreation
Lakes' Program. That program has been, and remains to this day, the biggest
privatization proposal ever contemplated for the management of outdoor
recreation on America's public lands. I tagged it in the late 90s and am not
surprised to see it resurface today. Hell, I'd expect nothing less. The
President's Budget would be incomplete without it.

In the years since the ARC first attempted to force the Recreation Lakes
program though Congress (with limited success), almost all reference to the
program has been removed from the internet.

Fortunately, the Wild Wilderness captured the evidence when it was
available. By using the WayBack Machine (www.archive.org) the story behind
today's story can still be found IF one knows what links to follow. Those
links can be found at www.wildwilderness.org/docs/add.htm#lakes. If someone
wants to learn more without having to personally reinvent the wheel, I'd be
happy to share what I know about this extraordinary threat.

Scott

---- begin quoted ----

 http://www.usace.army.mil/civilworks/cecwb/budget/budget.pdf
Fiscal Year 2007
Civil Works Budget for the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
February 2006

<snip>
page 104

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
FY 2007 Budget Justification Materials
Recreation Initiative

The Corps is the largest Federal provider of outdoor recreation services.
Over 4,300 recreation areas are located on Corps managed lands at 456
projects in 43 states. The Corps has long been a leader in developing
partnerships to assist in providing recreation opportunities. For this
reason, about 1800 (43 percent) of these recreation areas are operated and
maintained by other entities, such as states and local governments, under a
lease or license agreement. Water oriented recreation is attractive to
visitors, and Corps sites and facilities serve millions of people each year.
Eighty percent of Corps projects are located within 50 miles of a major
metropolitan area, making the recreation opportunities easily accessible to
many Americans. For example, Lewisville Lake near Dallas, Texas attracts
large numbers of visitors, as does J. Percy Priest Lake near Nashville,
Tennessee. The 2007 Budget includes $267 million for the recreation program.
The 2007 Budget proposes a Corps recreation modernization initiative, using
a promising model now used by other major federal recreation providers such
as the National Park Service and the Forest Service. The Administration has
proposed legislation to allow the agency to use a portion of the new fees it
collects to upgrade the sites where the fees are collected. The legislation
includes authority for the agency to charge entrance fees and other types of
user fees where appropriate.

The Corps expects the recreation modernization initiative will result in
increased recreation fee receipts that will be used to upgrade and modernize
recreation sites and facilities, to assure that quality public outdoor
recreation opportunities may be provided on Corps lands into the future. In
conjunction with this proposal, the Corps plans to work closely with the
Congress and with local communities neighboring Corps lakes to determine how
best to implement and build on this initiative. The Corps will focus on the
following areas of interest:

. The Corps currently collects a variety of fees and user charges,
including overnight camping fees, day-use fees, and fees for special
events; lease payments paid by concessionaires including marinas;
shoreline use permit fees; and agricultural lessees' fee payments. The
agency will review its current authorities, and make appropriate
adjustments if it finds revisions can improve program quality.

. New management arrangements may offer local leaders increased
opportunities to partner with the Corps in operating the lakes.
Innovative public/private partnerships with organizations such as Lake
Improvement Districts may provide models the Corps could modify or
adopt, as appropriate. These arrangements will be designed to
encourage local community leaders, property owners and environmental
groups to work with the Corps on this effort collaboratively,
consistent with the approach taken in the President's cooperative
conservation program.

. The Corps now works closely with state and local officials. It also
works extensively with volunteers, other stakeholders and interest
groups. The agency may elect to expand these activities.

The agency looks forward to working together with local stakeholders and
with their representatives in Congress to develop improved ways of doing
business, being responsive to stakeholders, while assuring quality outdoor
recreation opportunities are available for the enjoyment of current and
future generations of Americans.

----- END 2006 Document -------

----- BEGIN 2000 Document -------


----- Original Message ----- From: "Scott Silver" < ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
To: "Scott Silver" < ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 12:26 PM
Subject: Army Corps - Recreation Modernization Initiative

Below is a "heads-up" for yet another Army Corps wreckreation initiative
that is in major need of watch-dogging. Not only does this one involve the
expenditure of over one billion dollars of your money, but an undisclosed
amount of this money is earmarked to be used to spruce up public facilities
so that they may be turned over to the private sector.

(Sorry.... I'm not making this up! --- see below.)

Scott

PS... The Army Corps is the single largest provider of water-based
recreation on this planet. It is for this reason that the American
Recreation Coalition has put so many of its eggs into the Corps' basket --
not to mention the fact that the Army Corp is hopelessly corrupt and
dreadfully out of control as a public agency. If you like jet-skis and have
no objection to paying-to-play, then you'll love what the Army Corps and ARC
have planned.

PPS... Here's a link that will allow you to view a letter ARC recently sent
the Army Corps. If you like collusion, you'll love this letter.
 http://www.wildwilderness.org/docs/acememo.pdf

---- begin quoted excerpted ----

 http://www.hq.usace.army.mil/cepa/releases/presscon.htm

Transcript of:
FY 2001 CIVIL WORKS BUDGET
Press Conference
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Conducted: Monday, February 7, 2000

<snip>

The second initiative is the Recreation Modernization Initiative.
The Corps -- you may not know this, a lot of people don't know
that, and when I talked to some of the senators this morning they
were absolutely shocked when I told them, that the Corps is the
largest provider of water recreation, water based recreation, in
the United States, which is responsible for over 4,340 recreation
areas at 466 lakes in 42 states.

We are bigger than National Park Services, bigger than any other
federal recreation agency. And we host the most recreation
visitors of any agency, 377 million visitors annually.

This recreation modernization program will help to rehabilitate,
replace and rehabilitate facilities at some of the more than 2,487
recreation areas that the Corps manages directly.

Most of the facilities that the Corps manages at recreation areas
were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, and the visitors' needs
have changed dramatically since those years. A combination of
heavy use, lack of routine maintenance and changes in visitors'
needs have caused significant deterioration of our recreational
facilities and the natural resource base at the lakes where they
are located.

I should point out that the impact to the economy is significant
from this. We attribute more than 600,000 jobs at local levels due
to our recreation facilities and billions of dollars to the local
economy. So this is very important for folks.

And when you talk about, well, maybe the federal government ought
to get rid of these things, maybe you ought to privatize them,
maybe you're right. Many of them can be and should be, but you
can't privatize something that costs so much to rehabilitate, you
can't privatize something that isn't being used or is being used
by people who are unable to get the most out of it. The act of
privatizing costs money and people aren't going to invest in
facilities that are in a state that they're in today.

So we are including $27 million to begin this program to which we
hope to modernize about one half of the Corps retained recreation
areas over the next five to ten years. These improvements include
upgrading utilities, installing more family orientated facilities,
improving general access to land and recreation opportunities.
We're proposing new investments for a total of about $1.628
billion of which $1.215 billion will be provided by the federal
government and $413 million will be borne by the nonfederal
project sponsors.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Scott Silver
Wild Wilderness
248 NW Wilmington Ave.
Bend, OR 97701
phone: 541-385-5261
e-mail:  ssilver@wildwilderness.org
Internet:  http://www.wildwilderness.org
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