For Immediate Release
May 5, 1998

Contact: Diana M. Hawkins

 

FEDERAL AGENCIES UNVEIL NEW WEB PAGE TO HELP VISITORS
DISCOVER RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ON AMERICA'S PUBLIC LAND

Remember the last vacation you took, only to return home to find out from your friends that you were within a few miles of another fascinating and adventure filled site. Now there is a new way for visitors and travelers to learn about the many recreational opportunities available to them on America's public lands! Welcome to www.recreation.gov, one stop shopping for information about recreation activities on federal lands.

The recreation.gov initiative is part of Vice President Al Gore's multi-agency effort to improve customer service by establishing an electronic information system that deals with recreational opportunities on federal lands. The Vice President announced the availability of the new web site April 17, 1998, at a federal management conference in Washington, D.C.

The new site, (http://www.recreation.gov) was created by a small team of federal land management agencies like the Interior Department's National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation; the U.S. Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service; and the Department of Defense's U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt noted that, "We'll keep improving America's recreational areas, and we'll continue to build on new ways for the public to get the information needed to have an enjoyable experience as they visit our public lands and historic sites."

The federal land management agencies made a commitment to Vice President Gore in August 1997, to have in place by the year 2000, an integrated nationwide outdoor recreation information system that would provide the public with quick and easy electronic access to information about recreational activities on federal lands, recreation use permits and reservations.

The inter-agency web site, recreation.gov, accomplishes this commitment almost two years ahead of schedule. It offers one-stop shopping electronically for information about recreation on all federal lands. The system was developed through a partnership approach that included the Interior Department's U.S. Geological Survey, which provided map information through the National Digital Atlas program, and the Department of Commerce's National Weather Service, which provided weather information.

The system is housed on a NetServer donated by Hewlett-Packard Company to the National Park Foundation. The gift from Hewlett-Packard is an excellent example of partnership and commitment to support innovative projects that use technology to benefit the public.

Each land management agency is responsible for maintaining and updating its own information on the database. Future stages of recreation.gov will include links to agency campground reservation systems, and may include links to other partners, such as state parks and tourism offices, and local chambers of commerce.

Visitors and users of America's public lands will find the recreation.gov web site very useful in their search for recreation sites by state, by agency, or my recreational activity. The system will provide users with a list of all federal recreation sites meeting the search criteria, as well as a list of the activities available at each site. The system will also provide access to more detailed information about individual recreation sites by linking to agency web pages.

A link to a specific national wildlife refuge page will provide information about the purpose, goals and management of the refuge. Some refuge pages include brochures and maps. A direct link to the National Wildlife Refuge System page connects users to general information on the refuge system, wildlife, plants, habitat and public use. Included is a special events database providing a description and time for events scheduled at refuges. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service internet pages (http://www.fws.gov) display information on many different Service programs. Topics include migratory birds, endangered species, freshwater and anadromous fish, wetlands, protecting habitat, conserving coastal areas, and environmental contaminants as well as the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages more than 94 million acres of land and water consisting of 512 national wildlife refuges, 65 national fish hatcheries, 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl production areas, and 50 wildlife coordination areas.

The agency also enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat, such as wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.

Release #: R98-029


1998 News Releases

Go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region Home Page