The National Tour Association (NTA) is celebrating the extension of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) which allows federal recreation sites to use entrance fees for programming and projects such as rehabilitating trails and updating visitor facilities. A one-year extension of the act was included in the bill that reopened the federal government following a 16-day shutdown, NTA notes.
NTA supported the FLREA extension because it funds priority projects at federal sites enjoyed by NTA members’ customers, including both domestic and international travelers.
In recent years FLREA has generated more than $300 million per year, NTA says. Because of the much-needed discretionary income FLREA provides, the extension was the top priority of the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
“We’re excited we got the extension through 2014, and we can continue to issue annual passes,” said Craig Obey, senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association. “It will provide time for Congress to work on a more significant reauthorization.”
In recent weeks NTA has worked with the Second Century Coalition, which focuses on the future of the National Park Service and its programs in advance of the agency's centennial celebration in 2016, NTA said.
For much of 2013, NTA says it has been working on this issue with NPCA and other travel-sector partners, including the American Recreation Coalition, the Southeast Tourism Society and the Destination Marketing Association International. These organizations have been joined in a determined, united effort to keep the FLREA revenue stream in place, NTA says.