Tag: Outdoor

Readers ask about outdoor recreation, hunting

Brandon Sun readers requested specific questions be asked at the daily COVID-19 news conference with chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin.

QUESTION: Why are outdoor recreation spaces being closed again, with equipment removed, considering the risk was deemed low for outside activities and there are positive physical and mental benefits associated with recreation activities — especially, for example, school play structures are used during the day by school children then closed outside school hours?

ROUSSIN: Balance, and trying to keep the messages as clear as we can. And the message is, we should be staying home as much as we can. Being outdoors, doing things that are individual or their family unit … Outdoors is great. It’s the act of say, getting to a hockey rink, with 20 children outside, not that great.

We need to have that balance. You’re right, being outdoors, being active has a lot of benefits, so it’s still encouraged Manitobans to stay active. But mostly, within your family unit. We’re not going to socialize with people outside of our household because right now, we’re just so critical.

We don’t have time for nuanced messaging. We have to just be staying home socializing only with our households right now. We’ll get back to all those things.

QUESTION: It’s deer hunting season and people are going out. We did ask the health department and the reply was: “Hunting is permitted under the orders. That said, we urge Manitobans not to socialize with those outside their household.” Do you have more detailed guidelines to offer, as hunting is often a small-group activity with the aim of providing much-needed food in many cases, and often involves two or more people, and isn’t necessarily a household activity?

ROUSSIN: For all these things, and this is why we talk about things like the fundamentals, it’s because it’s really hard to have guidelines for every possible eventuality. The fundamentals apply to all of them.

So we have the rules, right? The group size is five right now. That’s going to apply indoors or outdoors.

What we’re messaging is, even better, if that’s all people from your household, if possible, and then you want to do whatever you can to keep that distancing. Ensure no one there is ill, frequent hand hygiene. There’s a lot of things that we can do to make these activities safe. Certainly, the fundamentals apply and the group-size orders apply, as well.

Do you have a question about something in your community? Send your questions to [email protected] with the subject line: Readers Ask.

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Responsible winter recreation campaign kicks off by Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation



a man riding a snowboard down a snow covered slope


© Provided by KUTV Salt Lake City


Utah is known for its amazing snow, and now’s the time to prepare for a safe and enjoyable winter outside and the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation is helping by providing the Winter Responsible Recreation campaign. 

Pitt Grewe, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, said in a prepared statement:

This summer, we saw outdoor recreation welcome many new users, and we expect that same trend to carry into the winter. Utah is a perfect winter playground that offers opportunities for everyone to get outside and enjoy the beautiful snow-covered landscapes. We want to ensure that everyone can access resources to recreate safely and responsibly.

This campaign emphasizes six main principles for snow-bound winter enthusiasts:

  1.  Know Before You Go 
  2. Canyons, Cars, Chaos 
  3. Powder for the Patient 
  4. Leave No Trace 
  5. Plan for the Unplanned 
  6. Respect Boundaries

The Office of Outdoor Recreation gathered feedback from industry stakeholders and uses a landing page to explain these principles and direct users to specific resources.

Winter can be one of the best times of year to get outside and recreate, but it can also be the most dangerous. It’s important to prepare now and learn about the resources available to have a great winter recreation season and enjoy recreation responsibly, a news release stated.

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Oregon state parks, ski areas and outdoor recreation stay open amid new COVID-19 shutdown

As Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced new limits on business and socializing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, she also emphasized that Oregon’s outdoor recreation would remain open. 



a man standing next to a waterfall: Silver Falls State Park reopened to the public on May 19, 2020 after being closed since March due to COVID-19 limits.


© Zach Urness / Statesman Journal
Silver Falls State Park reopened to the public on May 19, 2020 after being closed since March due to COVID-19 limits.

“We strongly encourage outdoor recreation and camping,” Brown said in a news conference Friday. “As such, our parks and playgrounds are staying open. Breathing the fresh, if not chilly air, will help every single one of us.”

The remark came in contrast to the statewide closure of developed recreation sites during the “Stay Home, Save Lives” measures taken last spring that lasted from March into May.  

This time around, Oregon’s state parks and campgrounds will remain open without changes and all recreation facilities on federal lands will stay open per normal for the winter season, state and federal officials said. 

Even places that bring people a bit closer together, such as ski areas, can open and operate if they get enough snow, Brown’s spokesman Elizabeth Merah said. 

Ski areas across Oregon have been planning for a different type of year that emphasizes limiting the number of people in lodges, wearing masks and keeping people distanced.

With snow falling in heavy amounts in the mountains, some ski areas may be able to open by Thanksgiving, although most had planned to open in December.  

“We had already planned to move the majority of our indoor activities outdoors this season,” said Dave Tragethon, spokesman for Mount Hood Meadows. “None of our ski lessons are assembling indoors — it’s all on the snow.” 

As for eating food indoors, Tragethon said they’ve developed a take-out system for its restaurants that they can implement.   

“It’s easy to shift to that,” he said. 

Brown’s release did say that outdoor zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities and outdoor pools would be closed. 

But, that doesn’t apply to anything outdoor recreation-related, Merah said. She stressed that limiting the number of people getting together for outdoor adventures was the most critical step in slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

“What is critical for all of these activities is that people abide by the limitations on social get-togethers,” Merah said. “That means, if you’re going to go skiing or go visit a park, you must do it in a group of no more than six people total, from no more than two households.” 

Havel, spokesman for Oregon’s state parks and campgrounds, said the tricky part would be communicating Oregon’s new travel advisory that urges people to avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and asks anyone coming from out-of-state to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“When people are in a campsite or trailer, they do a pretty good job of staying with their family, because it’s a natural thing to do,” he said. “The question is about people visiting campgrounds from out of state and then going out to grocery stores in nearby communities. So that’s something

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Outdoor recreation is more than fishing and boating. It’s a $788 billion business

Question: When is 2.1% a big number?

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tours Maverick Boat Group’s manufacturing facility

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Answer: When it represents hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs.

A new report released Nov. 11 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates in 2019, the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.1% of the nation’s gross domestic product, the measure of the market value for all goods and services produced in a specific time period.



a boat sitting on top of a car: The 42-foot Pursuit 2021 S 428 Sport, built in Fort Pierce, is debuted in a sea trial Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, on the Indian River Lagoon. The boat boasts four Yamaha 425 hp outboards, offering a max horsepower of 1,700, with several other luxury features. The largest boat ever built by Pursuit took about 9 months to complete from the first research, to concept, to detail design and engineering. The coronavirus induced March 24 closure of the Pursuit manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce presented challenges to the build, but "we never stopped working," said Pursuit Boats President Bruce Thompson.


© LEAH VOSS/TCPALM
The 42-foot Pursuit 2021 S 428 Sport, built in Fort Pierce, is debuted in a sea trial Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, on the Indian River Lagoon. The boat boasts four Yamaha 425 hp outboards, offering a max horsepower of 1,700, with several other luxury features. The largest boat ever built by Pursuit took about 9 months to complete from the first research, to concept, to detail design and engineering. The coronavirus induced March 24 closure of the Pursuit manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce presented challenges to the build, but “we never stopped working,” said Pursuit Boats President Bruce Thompson.

Outdoor recreation contributed $459.8 billion to the nation’s overall economy from $788 billion of gross output. It accounts for 5.2 million U.S. jobs.

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The statistics show the outdoor recreation sector grew by 1.3%, nearly keeping pace with the growth of the nation’s economy, which was 2.2% between 2018 and 2019.

A small part

Jayson Arman is a St. Lucie County-based fishing guide who is just one small part of a huge industry. He doesn’t own a boat, but when he is hired by customers who find him at Billy Bones Bait and Tackle in Port St. Lucie, he will take them on fishing adventures in places along the Indian River Lagoon or Treasure Coast beaches that can be reached on foot.

Arman loves what he does.

“Every day is a new day, every person is a new person. The unpredictability of fishing is what makes it addicting,” said Arman, whose business is That’s R Man Land-based Fishing Charters.

“I just gone done getting out of the water trying to fish for trout and had 6-foot-long tarpon blowing up mullet right in front of us,” Arman said before 8 a.m. Thursday. “That’s why I love being a fishing guide.”

More: TCPalm fishing report: Trout and hogfish harvest seasons to close Nov. 1

Each year, Arman runs a holiday special up until Christmas Eve, charging $100 for two people to fish. Anglers have one year to use the gift certificate, can choose any of four locations to fish and Arman supplies all the tackle.

The outdoor recreation economy is made up largely of small business owners eking out a living.

Boating and fishing

The five largest segments of the outdoor recreation economy in 2019 were:

  • Boating and fishing — $23.6 billion
  • RV’ing — $18.6 billion
  • Hunting/shooting/trapping — $9.4 billion
  • Motorcycling/ATV’ing — $9.2 billion
  • Equestrian — $8.6 billion

Snow activities accounted for $6.3 billion and was the largest activity

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Outdoor recreation accounted for 3.1% of Colorado’s economy last year

Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy made up 3.1% of the state’s total economy last year, according to data released by the federal government.

Outdoor recreation contributed $12.2 billion in total to the state’s economy and employed 149,140 people in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which released the data this week.

Colorado’s largest conventional activity was snow sports, like skiing and snowboarding, which contributed $1.7 billion, while other outdoor recreation activities contributed almost $1.75 billion.

Colorado is one of 11 states where outdoor recreation made up 3.1% or more of a state’s economy. The states where outdoor recreation added the highest percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) include Hawaii (5.8%), Vermont (5.2%), Montana (4.7%), Florida (4.4%), Wyoming (4.2%), and Maine (4.2%).

Nationally, outdoor recreation made up 2.1% of the country’s GDP in 2019, contributing $459.8 billion, according to the BEA.

The Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) said the industry plays a key role in the country’s economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“The industry is a vital component of national, state and local economies, as well as an important catalyst to America’s economic recovery,” OIA Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug said in a statement.

OIA said it anticipates the industry’s figures will increase in 2020, “given the rise in outdoor participation during COVID-19.”

Activities on federal lands in Colorado contributed $7.4 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and supported over 62,400 jobs last year, according to data released last month by the U.S. Department of Interior, which manages over 9 million acres of federal land in the state.

Those activities include energy and mineral development, which contributed $5.5 billion in added value, and recreation, which added $1.2 billion to GDP.

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Outdoor recreation was 2.1% of nation’s gross domestic product in 2019

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross toured Maverick Boat Group’s manufacturing facility.

Treasure Coast Newspapers

Question: When is 2.1% a big number?

Answer: When it represents hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs.

A new report released Nov. 11 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates in 2019, the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.1% of the nation’s gross domestic product, the measure of the market value for all goods and services produced in a specific time period.

Outdoor recreation contributed $459.8 billion to the nation’s overall economy from $788 billion of gross output. It accounts for 5.2 million U.S. jobs.

The statistics show the outdoor recreation sector grew by 1.3%, nearly keeping pace with the growth of the nation’s economy, which was 2.2% between 2018 and 2019.

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The 42-foot Pursuit 2021 S 428 Sport, built in Fort Pierce, is debuted in a sea trial Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, on the Indian River Lagoon. The boat boasts four Yamaha 425 hp outboards, offering a max horsepower of 1,700, with several other luxury features. The largest boat ever built by Pursuit took about 9 months to complete from the first research, to concept, to detail design and engineering. The coronavirus induced March 24 closure of the Pursuit manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce presented challenges to the build, but “we never stopped working,” said Pursuit Boats President Bruce Thompson. (Photo: LEAH VOSS/TCPALM)

A small part

Jayson Arman is a St. Lucie County-based fishing guide who is just one small part of a huge industry. He doesn’t own a boat, but when he is hired by customers who find him at Billy Bones Bait and Tackle in Port St. Lucie, he will take them on fishing adventures in places along the Indian River Lagoon or Treasure Coast beaches that can be reached on foot.

Arman loves what he does.

“Every day is a new day, every person is a new person. The unpredictability of fishing is what makes it addicting,” said Arman, whose business is That’s R Man Land-based Fishing Charters.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Jayson Arman, of That’s R Man land-based fishing charters, guides on-foot fishing charters out of Billy Bones Bait and Tackle in Port St. Lucie.

“I just gone done getting out of the water trying to fish for trout and had 6-foot-long tarpon blowing up mullet right in front of us,” Arman said before 8 a.m. Thursday. “That’s why I love being a fishing guide.”

More: TCPalm fishing report: Trout and hogfish harvest seasons to close Nov. 1

Each year, Arman runs a holiday special up until Christmas Eve, charging $100 for two people to fish. Anglers have one year to use the gift certificate, can choose any of four locations to fish and Arman supplies all the tackle.

The outdoor recreation economy is made up largely of small business owners eking out a living.

Boating and fishing

The five largest segments of the outdoor recreation economy in 2019 were:

  • Boating and fishing — $23.6 billion
  • RV’ing —
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Outdoor recreation is popular in Connecticut, but enthusiasts aren’t spending much, US statistics say

Perhaps it’s the state parks that are available for free or Connecticut’s cramped geography, but whatever the reason, residents and visitors didn’t spend much money last year on outdoor recreation.

The outdoor recreation economy in Connecticut accounted for 1.3% of the state’s economy in 2019, last in the nation, according to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Leading the way were boating and fishing and golf and tennis.

Not surprisingly, Hawaii with its abundant beaches and verdant forests was No. 1, accounting for 5.8% of its economy.

Outdoor recreation includes conventional activities such as bicycling, boating, hiking and hunting; gardening and outdoor concerts; and travel and tourism, local trips and government spending.

Connecticut’s outdoor recreation value last year was about $3.7 billion. For the U.S., it was nearly $460 billion.

Northern New England — Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont — posted greater shares of New England’s economy spent on outdoor recreation, particularly snow-related activities such as skiing in Vermont.

Western states such as Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming with their vistas, canyons and popular national parks accounted for the highest shares of the outdoor recreation economy. So did Florida, a major tourist destination.

The spread of COVID-19 has prompted a boom in outdoor activities in response to stay-at-home orders.

“The BEA release of economic data comes at a time when the health and wellness benefits of recreation cannot be overstated,” the Outdoor Industry Association said. “People want to get outside for their physical and mental health.”

The crush of people in parks, hiking trails and other outdoor places could be creating problems.

“We remain troubled by the evidence that popular outdoor locations continue to suffer from overcrowding by visitors, defeating the purpose of physical distancing protocols meant to minimize coronavirus-related health risks,” the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club says.

Stress on state and federal recreation areas in the Northeast “may have consequences far outlasting the current quarantine,” the club says. It recommends limited outdoor activities such as brief outings.

Trails and grounds of Connecticut’s state parks and forests are open for solitary recreation, not group activities, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says.

Growth in the outdoor recreation economy was slower last year than the overall economy: up 1.3% increase vs. 2.2% growth of the U.S. economy.

Stephen Singer can be reached at [email protected]

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©2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com

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Mackenzie District Council to assess outdoor and recreation assets

The Mackenzie District Council is commissioning reports and assessments of its assets so it can start to improve them.

CHARLIE O’MANNIN/Stuff

The Mackenzie District Council is commissioning reports and assessments of its assets so it can start to improve them.

The Mackenzie District Council has commissioned numerous reports on the state of its outdoor and recreation assets following a damning report into their condition.

The report, commissioned by council and conducted by Xyst Limited, an international consulting company specialising in local government, listed many areas of concern, including pools, tree maintenance, playgrounds, disused buildings, trails, and the lack of a council asset register.

At a council meeting in Fairlie on Tuesday, Mayor Graham Smith said the report “gave us all a bit of a wakeup call”.

He said “it’s a starting point” and “puts out what we probably needed to know for a long time”.

READ MORE:
* Mixed survey results for Mackenzie District Council
* Damning report leaves Mackenzie District councillors ‘gasping’
* Criticism of failure to spend $4.7m in Mackenzie District Council development fund

Council voted to go to market for consultants to produce reports on the state of council’s parks, trails, playgrounds, and toilets, as the first step to addressing the issues raised in the Xyst report.

A report on the council’s reserve management is also to be commissioned, but the tender was not submitted in time to make the council meeting agenda.

The reports come after council staff said they could not spend a $4.7million fund as they have no record of the outdoor and recreation assets the council owns.

The Peace Avenue trees in Fairlie have an estimated $100,000 worth of deferred maintenance.

CHARLIE O’MANNIN/Stuff

The Peace Avenue trees in Fairlie have an estimated $100,000 worth of deferred maintenance.

The reports the council is currently putting to tender will be paid for out of that fund.

The council also approved $10,000 from their operational reserves for an assessment on the condition of the Fairlie Peace Avenue trees, 500 oak trees that were planted to commemorate the end of World War I.

The peace trees were listed as an area of concern in the Xyst report.

General manager of operations Tim Harty said there is “quite a substantive amount of deferred maintenance in the trees” and the agenda item estimated the cost of the deferred maintenance at $100,000.

Councillor Anne Munro questioned whether the assessment should be extended to the trees in the rest of the district as well as the peace trees.

“Isn’t it more cost effective to do an assessment of the whole jolly lot at the same time?” she asked.

Harty said while the trees in the rest of the district will need to be assessed at some point, the cost would be too high to assess them all at once.

“There are a number of trees where we don’t know even where they are, so we would have to have someone in the district going around for a week or two to do that; that would cost substantially more.’’

The cemeteries across the Mackenzie District are at risk from encroaching pine trees. Pictured is the Fairlie cemetery.

CHARLIE O’MANNIN/Stuff

The cemeteries across the Mackenzie District are at risk from encroaching pine trees. Pictured is the Fairlie cemetery.

Harty said another issue council was

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Adaptive sports program helps veterans stay connected through outdoor recreation

In the two decades since he retired from the Army because of multiple sclerosis, Karl Smith has dealt with feelings of isolation.

For years, the 72-year-old Vietnam veteran from Falmouth didn’t get out of the house much, not knowing when his stamina and ability to walk would fail him. Last winter, he heard about Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training in New Gloucester, a program started by fellow Army veteran and Olympic biathlete Kristina Sabasteanski. Smith was quickly able to make connections with people and get outdoors for hikes, biking and archery – sometimes using a three-wheel walker and a recumbent bike.

Karl Smith practices archery with Veterans Adaptive Sports Training on Oct. 14. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

In March, as the pandemic limited gatherings and forced Mainers to stay home, his connection with other veterans in the program only grew. Though he was unable to get together physically with other veterans for a while, he did not feel isolated.

Sabasteanski kept the group connected virtually, with weekly Zoom chats, which became lifelines for Smith and other vets.

Karl Smith holds a photograph of himself taken in 1969 at his base in Vietnam. In the photograph, 21-year-old Smith holds a puppy. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

“I think I spent more time talking to other veterans on Zoom than I had before,” Smith said. Talking to others was comfortable and helped Smith accept and “more easily live with” what he describes as a long-standing ambivalence toward his service in Vietnam.

Though Sabasteanski has run VAST for eight years, on the campus of the nonprofit Pineland Farms, the program has been especially important to its members during the pandemic. They kept connected virtually during the first few months of shutdowns, in March and April. When they resumed the program’s weekly activities – including archery, bocce and biking – it was while wearing masks and keeping 6 feet apart.

More than 160 veterans took part in the program this fiscal year, down from about 230 the year before, a drop caused by COVID-19, Sabasteanski says. The participants – who come when they can, or want – range in age from about 30 to 91. They include amputees, veterans dealing with brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and a host of other challenges. Activities include archery, cycling, fishing, orienteering, wheelchair basketball and tennis, bowling, disc golf and hiking trips. The program meets every Wednesday, and various other days during the week.

“It’s so important for them to be able to hang out with other veterans and share stories, and joy, doing something fun,” said Sabasteanski, 51. “When the pandemic hit, I thought it was really important to keep people connected.”

The program is funded by a Veterans Administration Adaptive Sports Grant, as well as individual donations, an Avangrid Foundation Grant and by Pineland Farms. The nonprofit Pineland Farms is a 5,000-acre working farm, with grounds that also house education and recreation programs, as well as several businesses.

VAST participants, including Carmine Melito and VAST director Kristina Sabasteanski,

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