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October 12 symposium in Salt Lake City open to public

Advocates of scenic beauty from around the country will convene for a “scenic symposium” at the Alta Club in downtown Salt Lake City on October 12 as part of the annual Scenic America affiliates conference. 

The conference will celebrate the official launch of Scenic Utah, the newest of Scenic America’s 50 state and local affiliates. The symposium’s theme, Rediscovering our Scenic Roots, reflects in part that Utah tourism officials marketed the state as the “Center of Scenic America” from the 1920s through the 1940s. Symposium presenters will make the case that promoting scenic values is more important today than ever before, and will encourage the state to re-embrace its former slogan.

Click here to learn more about the symposium and to register.

Scenic byways bill takes big step forward in Congress

Scenic America and our supporters celebrated a major victory on September 27 when the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unanimously moved to pass H.R. 5158, a bill to revive the National Scenic Byways Program, on to the full House of Representatives.

scenic byway in the OzarksThe bill, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), would direct the Secretary of Transportation to reopen the National Scenic Byways Program to new nominations. The program has designated 150 special roads around the country as National Scenic Byways since its inception in 1991, but the last round of designations occurred in 2009, and Congress pulled support for the program in 2012 transportation legislation.

H.R. 5158 is co-sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. David E. Price (D-NC) and Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D-MD).

Click here to learn more and take action in support of H.R. 5158. 

Scenic America scores major victory on Land and Water Conservation Fund 

Scenic America scored its second major Congressional victory in less than a week’s time when, on October 2, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed two bills: S. 569, the "Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act," and S. 3172, the "Restore Our Parks Act," by wide bipartisan majorities.  Last week, Scenic America celebrated the passage of H.R. 5158, a bill to restore the National Scenic Byways Program, out of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Congressional authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) expired on September 30, but the forward progress of all these bills means the LWCF is closer than ever to being fully funded and permanently reauthorized.  

Scenic America, as a member organization in the LWCF Coalition, is advocating for full funding and reauthorization of the program and supporting other efforts to fund and improve our country's parks and public lands.  

Scenic America attended the recent Congressional markups on two bills in support of the LWCF.  H.R. 6510, also known as the "Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act," is a bill to provide funding for the maintenance backlogs of the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management.  H.R. 502 is a bill to permanently reauthorize the LWCF.  Both bills were reported favorably to the full House.

Scenic America will continue to work with our allies in support of the program, but we need your help.  Click here to contact your Members of Congress in support of the LWCF today!

Scenic San Diego takes long view to protect city's waterfront 

Scenic advocates attained a huge victory in San Diego this summer when Port Commissioners finally abandoned a three-year effort to plaster waterfront skyscrapers with multi-story advertising wraps and install 11-foot electronic ad kiosks along the panoramic Embarcadero.

San Diego kiosk mockup Port leaders and staff developed the off-premise ad program for two years without public notice, until a community watchdog alerted Scenic San Diego.  Only days before commissioners were poised to approve the first multi-story ad banner, Scenic America launched an alert that generated hundreds of letters from around the nation and prompted the Port board to delay the first sign permit. 

For the next year scenic boosters bombarded board members with emails, letters and a national petition drive opposing any increase in commercial advertising on the bay front.  Scenic San Diego fought the proposal at eight board meetings, culminating on July 17, when commissioners finally abandoned the program without a formal vote.

In addition to technical and strategic support from Scenic America, Scenic San Diego’s tactics included multiple meetings and contacts with city council members and California Coastal Commission staffers, who were unaware of the Port’s drive to permit new outdoor ads, banned under local law since the 1980s. Networking with allies via email and Facebook and outreach to journalists also helped rally opposition from citizens and public officials that ultimately scuttled the ad proposal.

Click here to learn more about Scenic San Diego's work.

Gateway communities summit to take place December 11-13

Scenic America is working with the Conservation Fund to produce the National Summit for Gateway Communities, December 11-13, 2018 at the National Conservation Training Center in Sheperdstown, West Virginia.  The conference will celebrate the role of gateway communities in the stewardship of America's public lands and identify opportunities to help them thrive. 

The three-day conference will bring together gateway communities, their partners and experts from conservation, community and economic development, recreation and tourism, planning and other creative fields to highlight success stories and lessons learned while engaging in robust discussions that lead to specific actions for invigorating the future of gateway communities.  

Click here to learn more and to register.

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