NOVEMBER 2009

Effort to Fully Fund LWCF Gains More Traction as Senate Conservation Leaders Introduce Bill

On Friday, November 6, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced “The Land and Water Authorization and Funding Act of 2009” (S. 2747) to permanently provide $900 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
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NRPA-Led Advocacy Efforts Yield Increased Appropriations for LWCF Stateside

Park and Recreation advocates scored a major victory last month as Congress passed the FY 2010 Interior Appropriations bill and provided increased funding for the LWCF Stateside Assistance Program.
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Transportation Outlook

The current surface transportation law expired on September 30, 2009.  Prior to the expiration, the House and Senate could not agree upon the length of extension for the current law.  As a result, both chambers have voted on extending the funding of transportation programs until December 18, 2009.
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New Urban Park Legislation

NRPA’s Public Policy Office has been working with Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) who recently introduced H.R. 3734, The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (URLC). 
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NRPA Forms Working Group to Submit Comments on Access Board’s Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas

The Access Board recently issued a draft version of Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas.  This is a relatively unprecedented step in the regulatory process as the norm has been to issue a Notice of Proposed Guidelines, gather comments, and then issue the Final Guidelines.
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Funding Opportunities Available Through CDC Grants

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tom Frieden recently announced the availability of $373 million in competitive grant funds for local communities to adopt and implement evidence-based policies and programs to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, decrease overweight and obesity and decrease tobacco use. 
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Urban Park Summit: Next Steps

NRPA hosted a highly successful Urban Park Summit on September 22, 2009 in Washington, DC. The goals of the summit were two-fold: First, to seek strong support for urban parks in new White House national urban policy plans and secondly, to secure Congressional and Administration support for new urban parks legislation that would restore federal support and funding for urban parks while addressing their role in promoting health and revitalizing urban communities.
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A Plan for the Future of our National Parks: The Second Century Commission Report

The National Parks Conservation Association and the Howard Baker Center on the University of Tennessee campus, hosted a special two day conference for policy makers, NPS staff, and other national organizations including NPRA.  The goal of the confernece was to discuss the recommendations of a blue ribbon committee chaired by former Senators Howard Baker and J. Bennett Johnston.  The committee was charged with looking at the future needs of the National Park System.
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