April 2018 Print


NACPRO Seeking Candidates for the Board of Directors

It is time again to elect members for the NACPRO Board of Directors. In July, we will be electing 12 directors. Directors serve a two year term.

Board service is open to official or senior management staff associated with county and regional government, who have natural resource, parks and/or recreation advisory, administrative or policy-making authority.

Participation can vary with your availability. Opportunities exist to participate with various committees, affiliate liaisons, and officer positions. The board meets every other month via conference call and has one face-to-face meeting in conjunction with other association conferences, such as the NACo Annual Conference, NRPA Congress or Special Park District Forum.

Please take a moment to look over the NACPRO website and give some thought toward increasing your involvement in your professional association.

Serving on the board provides a great opportunity to get more involved with NACPRO, participate in discussions impacting the profession, collaborate on committee work, and utilize any skills you have that would be of benefit to the association.

If you have any questions or want to express interest in running for office, please contact John Knight at john.knight@snco.us or (785) 251-2600.


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Got an issue you need advice on? Or a best practice you want to share? Send us the details and we will publish it in the next NACPRO News.


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Conservation in California’s San Diego County
Courtesy of NRPA

By Christine A. Tolchin

CALIFORNIA - San Diego County is one of the most biologically diverse counties in the nation because of its complex coastal, foothill, mountain and desert climates, and variations in elevation and geology.

For the past 20 years, the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has worked to preserve undeveloped land through its Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP). The MSCP is a joint Federal Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and California Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) under the Endangered Species Act. The MSCP protects large, contiguous areas of habitat to benefit endangered species and allows for Incidental Take Authorization for those listed species without the need for separate federal or state permits. Through the county’s permitting process, benefits of these take permits are passed to landowners who propose actions that comply with the MSCP and implementing ordinances.

A collaborative effort with the wildlife agencies, the city of San Diego, the San Diego Association of Governments and other local agencies, the county’s MSCP was one of the nation’s first joint HCP/NCCPs. It was approved in 1997 for the southern region of the county, and with direction from the county’s board of supervisors, the comprehensive plan allows for conservation of biodiversity, public access to public lands through trails and continued economic growth.

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‘Wall of sound’ helps corral 47,000 Asian carp; invasive species overran Missouri county lake
Courtesy of NACo

By Mary Ann Barton

MISSOURI - Rounding up 47,000 fish in a 320-acre lake in a Missouri county took some ingenuity, using a method that has been used in Asia but not often in the United States.

The Missouri Department of Conservation, which manages Creve Coeur Lake, approached St. Louis County late last summer about helping it rid the lake of some 119 tons of invasive Asian carp.

“You have all this recreational use of the lake and then you get these fish that jump out of the water and they can injure people,” said Tom Ott, assistant director of the St. Louis County, Mo. Department of Parks and Recreation.

Getting rid of them isn’t easy. Asian carp hate the sound of motorboat motors, so conservationists isolated the sound and broadcast it underwater in St. Louis County, using the noise to herd the fish to one end of Creve Coeur Park Lake, where they were removed. Wintertime was the best time because the fish don’t jump around as much in colder temperatures. In addition to broadcasting the sound of motorboat motors, they also used nets, ultrasound and electric shocks to herd the fish.

Read more: http://www.naco.org/node/222447


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Find Your Congressional District Outdoor Recreation Economy Data
Courtesy of OIA

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has released congressional-level Outdoor Recreation Economy reports for all 435 congressional districts. These reports are the first of their kind that captures the power of a vast multi-billion dollar economic engine in our local communities and across the nation.

For more information:


Outdoor Recreation Driving Population Boom in Rural Areas
Courtesy of Pew Trusts

By Jen Fifield

While many rural counties have been shrinking for years, others with strong recreational industries, such as mountainous western towns where people can take a quick hike or southern states with year-round golfing weather, have been growing rapidly. These populations are growing as it becomes easier to work from anywhere, and as more people retire and move away from the city.

The trend is part of what drove the overall slight growth of the rural population in the United States from 2016 to 2017, for the first time since 2010, according to a Stateline analysis of census data. (Rural counties are those defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as outside cities and their suburbs.) The population in rural counties grew by only about 33,000 during that time, to about 46 million. While counties with large mining and farming industries shrank, counties with large recreation industries grew the most, by about 42,000, to about 6.3 million.

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Economic & Health Benefits Of Bicycling In NW Arkansas
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

The Human Environment Digest reports the Walton Family Foundation has invested $74 million to build 163 miles of bike trails in Benton and Washington Counties, AR over the last decade. According to a study by PeopleForBikes, these infrastructure investments have resulted in $137 million worth of benefits, including $86 million in health benefits and $51 million in business benefits.

Download the report:


It’s Time to Talk About Dog Poop
Courtesy of Leave No Trace

By Wes Siler

In the United States, pet dogs produce 21.2 billion pounds of poop each year. All that poop is polluting water sources, both in urban areas and the backcountry, largely because dog owners aren’t doing a good job picking it up.

To study the issue, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics tracked “canine defecation events” on Boulder, Colorado’s Open Space and Mountain Parks lands for a little over a month last summer. Those 45,000 acres see 5.3 million human visits each year, and many of those visitors bring their dogs along, resulting in 60,000 pounds of left-behind dog poop each year.

Just like human poop, all that dog poop is full of nasty bacteria, and potentially even parasites. One gram of dog poop can contain up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, and dog poop is also a common carrier of whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, parvo, coronavirus, giardia, salmonella, cryptosporidium, and campylobacter.

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Visualizing Park Access around the United States
Courtesy of ArcNews

By Emmalee Dolfi and Gabriel Patterson-King

ParkServe is a new interactive platform from The Trust for Public Land (TPL) that park planners, city officials, and park advocates can use to map and analyze parks nationwide. When all the data is available via the platform later this spring, ParkServe will include green space information from nearly 14,000 cities and towns in the United States, covering where more than 80 percent of the country’s population lives. The web-based platform, which currently contains approximately 130,000 local and urban parks, enables users to locate the nearest park, determine the percentage of residents in a city or town that live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and identify neighborhoods that are most in need of new parks.

For more information:


Announcing America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2018
Courtesy of American Rivers

By Jessie Thomas-Blate

From draining critical wetlands on Mississippi’s Big Sunflower River to mining in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and the rivers of Alaska’s Bristol Bay, to building a border wall on the Lower Rio Grande, America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2018 illustrates the recurring attacks by the Trump administration and Congress on clean water, people and wildlife.

This is the kind of destruction that will be difficult and, in some cases, impossible to reverse. If the Trump administration and its supporters in Congress succeed in rolling back bedrock environmental protections and handing over our rivers to polluters, the health, well-being and natural heritage of our nation’s families and communities will be impoverished for generations to come.

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AccessNow App Pins Accessibility Levels
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

The Lily reports AccessNow is an app that lets people search for and find information about accessible places and experiences--like a Yelp for accessibility. Its maps of wherever you are in 35 countries could have red, green, yellow and orange pins rated by other users. Red means the location is not accessible, green is accessible, yellow is partially accessible, and orange means only its patio is accessible. Flagging places as inaccessible not only helps out AccessNow's users, but it calls out the businesses and in some cases has lead to accessibility updates.

For more information:


Apply for Community Assistance in Conservation and Outdoor Recreation
Courtesy of the National Park Service

The community assistance specialists in our Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program can help you to:

- Increase access to outdoor recreation and the natural world;
- Improve community health with new opportunities for more active living;
- Promote conservation and encourage stewardship of local resources;
- Benefit the local economy by improving quality of life;
- Connect youth to the outdoors and engage the next generation of conservation stewards; and
- Build partnerships that support your project's success!

Project applicants may be state and local agencies, tribes, nonprofit organizations, or citizen groups. National Parks and other Federal agencies may apply in partnership with other local organizations.

To find out if we can help your community, review the application process. Then get in touch with our staff member nearest you to discuss your idea. We want to talk with you informally before you apply, to explore and develop your project idea and help you make the best of your application. Please let us know by the end of May if you intend to submit an application.

Apply by June 30 to be considered for technical assistance with your locally-led conservation and outdoor recreation project.

For more information: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/rtca/apply.htm


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At long last, New York's Central Park will finally be car free
Courtesy of Fast Company

By Eillie Anzilotti

NEW YORK - On June 27, Central Park, New York City’s 2.5-mile-long green space, will officially go car-free. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the news, saying: “This park was not built for automobiles. It was built for people. People walking, people biking–that’s what this park will now be about.”

It may seem that this monumental announcement is the result of a recent trend–Prospect Park in Brooklyn went car-free in January, and San Francisco has been toying with the idea of closing Golden Gate Park to automobiles.

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It's risky out there! That's why PSU's Outing Club can no longer go outside
Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Don Hopey

PENNSYLVANIA - A backpacking trip in the Rothrock State Forest and day hikes in the Laurel Highlands and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia were among the Penn State Outing Club’s 2018 spring-term events.

After this weekend, though, the 98-year-old organization has nothing on its calendar, and unless things change, it won’t. The Outing Club isn’t allowed to go outside anymore.

According to an announcement posted by the club on its website last week, the university will not allow the club to organize and run outdoor, student-led trips starting next semester.

After a two-month review that did not include consultation with student Outing Club leaders, the university’s offices of Student Affairs and Risk Management made the determination that the hiking, canoeing, kayaking, trail building and camping activities the student-led club has long engaged in are too risky. The club is one of the oldest entirely student-run organizations at Penn State.

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What Cities and States Are Doing to Cut Noise, 'the New Secondhand Smoke'
Courtesy of Stateline

By Mindy Fetterman

NEW YORK - In a city whose cacophony can reach 95 decibels in midtown Manhattan — way above the federal government’s recommended average of no more than 70 decibels — the commotion over all that racket involves irate residents, anti-noise advocates, bars, helicopter sightseeing companies, landscapers and construction companies, as well as City Hall. The city’s 311 non-emergency call service gets 50,000 calls a day, and the No. 1 complaint is noise.

Now New York University has started a five-year study funded by the National Science Foundation to monitor noise in New York. The Sounds of New York City project aims to track sound across the city. But what policymakers will do with the information is not yet clear.

Noise doesn’t just affect hearing, noise activists say; it can cost your health. A study by the University of Michigan showed a link to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, according to Neitzel, who conducted the study.

Read more: http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/sl-noise-pollution.html


#FindYourWay on America's Rivers and Trails
Courtesy of NRPA

By Lisa Ronald and Leigh Schmidt

This year, recreationists and conservationists alike will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of public rivers and trails. On October 2, 1968, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Trails Act were passed. At the time, outdoor enthusiasts and congressional champions demanded free-flowing rivers and long-distance trails to balance a national policy of rampant dam building and a lack of connection to the outdoors and historically significant places. These monumental acts of Congress marked the beginning of more than a decade of environmental lawmaking, protecting natural attributes like air and water quality, and institutionalizing public participation in environmental reviews. These acts also brought rivers and trails — the networks that connect communities to public lands — to the forefront of American consciousness.

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Zinke Signs Secretarial Orders to Increase Recreational Opportunities on Public Lands and Waters
Courtesy of US Dept. of the Interior

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today signed two secretarial orders continuing his efforts to prioritize the Department of Interior’s recreation mission and increase access to public lands.

Secretarial Order 3366 directs certain Interior bureaus to create and deliver plans to the Department within 90 days that focus on developing or expanding recreational opportunities on public lands and waterways. This order also directs bureau heads to designate one full-time employee charged to oversee recreational opportunities.

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Houston Bike Plan Gets the Funding it Needed
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

TEXAS - Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis on Monday announced a one-year $10 million commitment to bicycling projects in Houston," reports Dug Begley.

The big infusion of cash will help Houston finally make substantial strides toward enacting the projects and goals laid out by the city's 2017 bike plan.

"Officials estimated the money would build at least 50 miles of protected bike lanes considered crucial to providing usable bike access to neighborhoods and jobs," according to Begley. The city has also set aside $1.1 million to spend in each of the next five years. Upcoming projects include "planned bike lanes along Austin and Caroline and new space for cyclists along Hardy and Elysian on the city’s Near Northside.

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Marin doctors prescribe park activities in health program for needy
Courtesy of MarinIJ.com

By Richard Halstead

CALIFORNIA - Marin County has expanded a pilot program that has local doctors prescribing physical activities in parks as treatment for disadvantaged Marin residents who suffer from hypertension, diabetes or obesity.

The program is a collaboration between the county’s public health division and Marin County Parks.

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Republicans set their sights on the EPA’s science
Courtesy of High Country News

By Maya L. Kapoor

Federal regulatory changes can be about as interesting to ponder as drying paint. Of course, federal regulations also are the reason that drying paint is lead-free in this country.

Now, the way that the U.S. makes many federal environmental regulations may be changing. In March, the House passed two bills aimed at defanging the Environmental Protection Agency, largely along party lines.

The first, House Bill 1430 – named the HONEST Act – would challenge the EPA’s access to scientific data. The second, House Bill 1431 – named the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017 – would replace scientists and public health experts on its advisory panel with industry members and politicians. Both bills are now in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Previous versions passed the House in 2014 and 2015, but stalled in the Senate, with former President Barack Obama threatening to veto. It’s unlikely President Donald Trump would do the same.

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Hasbro Invites the Return of ‘Well-Loved’ Toys & Games for Recycling
Courtesy of NRPA

By Jennifer Hermes

Hasbro, Inc., is the latest company to announce a product recycling program; through a partnership with TerraCycle, the toy and game recycling initiative lets consumers collect and send their used Hasbro products to TerraCycle, who will recycle them into materials that can be used in the construction of playgrounds, park benches, and more.

TerraCycle says the Hasbro Toy Recycling pilot program is the first brand-sponsored national recycling program in the industry.

The free recycling program invites users to print out a free shipping label to use on boxes of “well-loved” toys and games, which they can then send to TerraCycle for repurposing.

Read more:


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NOHVCC 2018 Annual Conference – Call for Presentations
Courtesy of NOHVCC

August 14-18, 2018 - Grand Rapids, MI

The Theme of the 2018 National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) Annual Conference is "Building on Success!" Michigan is the perfect state to showcase our theme of Building on Success.

The agenda for the conference is filling up fast! As a result, now is the time to make suggestions for topics, potential presenters or other ideas. There are a limited number of available slots for presenters – so act quickly! Preference will be given to ideas and topics that have not been covered recently, new presenters, and suggestions that fit well with the 2018 theme of “Building on Success.”

Please send an email by May 25 to trailhead@nohvcc.org make suggestions for topics and potential presenters.


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Associate Superintendent
Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota
Posted March 22, 2018. Open until filled. First review of applications on April 20, 2018.

Region Parks Manager
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Bozeman MT
Posted April 13, 2018. Closes April 30, 2018.

Assistant Community Services Director
City of Menlo Park, California
Posted April 23, 2018. Closes May 20, 2018.

For more information: http://nacpro.org/Job_Posts


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