November 2017
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21CSC Act passes out of House committee

Earlier this month, the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act of 2018 (H.R. 2987) cleared an important procedural hurdle and passed in the United States House Committee on Natural Resources with unanimous bipartisan support. The bill, if passed, would make it easier for conservation corps to partner with federal agencies and engage more youth and young veterans in projects on our public lands and waters to help address a growing maintenance backlog. The 21CSC Act has bipartisan support in both chambers and is being led by Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ-2) in the House, and 2017 OAK Tree Award Recipient Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in the Senate. Congratulations to the Partnership for the 21CSC for this important victory.

ICYMI: Americans oppose raising park fees 

OAK released a new bipartisan national poll which demonstrates the public has major concerns with a proposal to raise entry fees at major national parks across the country. The proposed fee increase would affect some of the U.S.’s most beloved parks including Yellowstone, Shenandoah and Joshua Tree. Entrance fees would more than double, increasing to $70 per vehicle from $30.

A few additional findings from the poll:
  • Sixty-four percent of Americans say they would be less likely to visit a national park if fees were increased
  • Among Americans with household incomes under $30,000 per year, who would be most impacted by the fee hike, 71% say they would be less likely to visit a national park if fees were increased
  • When it comes to funding national parks, Americans overwhelmingly believe that increasing federal funding is a better approach than increasing entrance fees (72% versus 28%, respectively)
  • An overwhelming 92% of Americans agree that access to national parks provides kids with valuable opportunities to be active outdoors and learn about the natural world
Read more on the Blue Sky Funders Forum blog.

The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 adults nationwide between December 13 and 17, 2017. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points.

NY Governor Cuomo signs A735 into law 

New York joins the growing roster of states advancing strategies to connect children and youth with the outdoors. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law State Assembly Bill A735, directing the state commissioners of health and environmental conservation to study and develop a long term strategy to promote outdoor environmental education and recreation with a focus on outdoor play and learning opportunities for kids in New York. “The development of policies that foster stewardship of the environment, an appreciation of the importance of the wise use of natural resources, and recognition of the health benefits of time spent in nature are essential to the residents of New York state,” said Kyle Stewart, Executive Director of the Alliance of New York State YMCAs. Kyle received the 2017 OAK Leaf Award for his collaborative work on behalf of New York's kids.

Warm Welcome to OAK's Newest Member

Welcome to OAK’s newest member, Sixkiller Consulting, LLC. Sixkiller is a national strategic advisory, public policy, and business development consulting firm that works with community leaders, nonprofits and businesses to drive public policy outcomes at all levels of government.

On the Calendar (Click Image to View)

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