Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date



Summer Conference (19th: 1998: Boulder, Colo.)


3 pages.


The Outdoor Recreation: Promise and Peril in the New West conference explores several components of the “promise and peril” of the ongoing, outdoor recreation explosion. The conference begins with a series of introductory presentations designed to place the outdoor recreation movement in a useful historical and socioeconomic context. This material is followed in the afternoon session by a discussion of environmental impacts of outdoor recreation, recognizing that the diversity and magnitude of impacts is as broad as the industry itself. This discussion is followed on the second day with a review of major issues in outdoor recreation financing, including concerns over subsidies, user fees, and the merits of market-driven natural resource management programs. The afternoon session shifts the focus to user group conflicts, and the identification of major trends and lessons that may be useful in mitigating the disputes associated with increasing recreational pressures on land and water resources. The final day of the conference features a discussion of agency response to these new demands, and includes a review of proposed recreation legislation in the 105th Congress. A final panel summarizes key findings and outlines future agendas, providing all attendees with a firm foundation for addressing what will likely be the major natural resource issue of the next decade and beyond.

Major questions addressed include "Can the West realize the promise of this economic juggernaut without incurring a new class of environmental and socioeconomic impacts? Are new legislative and administrative reforms needed to fill the policy vacuum? How does the outdoor recreation explosion influence broader trends in natural resources management?"

Panelists discuss conflicts among visitors to public lands and the effect of outdoor recreation on Native American sacred sites. Speakers include Agriculture Department Undersecretary Jim Lyons, an advocate of recreation-oriented public-lands management.

Alternate Title

Activity in the 105th Congress