America's Byways Foundation Board
Hi, this is Laurie Frantz, a member of the Foundation Board. I tried to update the last conference call on what we're doing, and as some of you know, I was travelling and my call cut in and out. I wanted to tell you about two things:
I attended the Great Outdoors listening session in Albuquerque which Gary informed us all of on the dashboard. I had a statement to read from the Board, but it wasn't the sort of thing where you could read a statement, so instead I posted it on their web site. Here is the text below:
"I am Laurie Frantz, a Director of the National Scenic Byway Foundation. The National Scenic Byway Foundation is the not-for-profit partner of the federal National Scenic Byway Program that was created in 1991 under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. The program now encompasses 150 of America’s most treasured routes that have been designated by the Secretary of Transportation as “America’s Byways©.”
The Foundation would like to call your attention to these byways and urge their inclusion in the resources associated with the America’s Great Outdoors initiative and to make a few suggestions.
First, the byways:
To be eligible for designation by the Secretary of Transportation a byway must contain and commit to the preservation of at least one of six intrinsic qualities. The qualities are:
We think of byways as the 21st century offspring of the nation’s 20th century conservation efforts. In the 20th century; National Forests and Grasslands, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and BLM lands were acquired and federal agencies created to manage and protect them. Byways, on the other hand, are treasured places that remain in current ownership and are managed by local grassroots public or not-for-profit organizations. In essence, when the Secretary designates a route as one of America’s Byways© a franchise is awarded and support provided with the expectation that the organization receiving the designation will protect, maintain operate, interpret and market the byway to accepted standards.
Byways place great emphasis on experiencing rather than traveling or visiting unique places. While the program operates within the US and state departments of transportation where the major focus is on safe and efficient movement of goods and people, byways are as much about stopping as they are about going. Byway travelers are provided with information and opportunities to pause, get out of their cars and sense the qualities of the place. They are offered opportunities and are encouraged to connect with the intrinsic qualities and the people who live and work or who once lived and worked along the byway; to hear the stories, smell the smells, taste the food, dance the dance and to sense the wonder of the place. In many cases, these experiences are delivered by public and not-for-profit organizations but a distinguishing feature of the byway program is that the for-profit sector is also a full partner.
We hope you will examine America’s Byways© and include them as equal partners with National Parks, National Forests and Grasslands, National Wildlife Refuges and BLM lands in your deliberations.
Now our suggestions:
• Place more emphasis on experience than on place. Outstanding outdoor experiences can be found anywhere if the intrinsic qualities including history and culture are well protected and the stories well told.
• Be inclusive. The title “America’s Great Outdoors” suggests a federal effort to market outdoor assets of national significance. Although many of our most treasured outdoor assets are in federal and state ownership, those that receive the most and most frequent use are in neighborhoods where American’s live.
• Provide a place at the America’s Great Outdoors table for national not-for-profit partners. Government cannot and should not try to do it all.
• Remember, much of any outdoor experience is in the journey to and from the destination. Involve the transportation, tourism and attractions sectors in the project. Encourage the road less traveled.
• Please keep us involved. Contact us at:
Teresa Mitchell, Chair
National Scenic Byway Foundation
c/o Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway
Ray and West Main Streets
Sackets Harbor, NY 13685
Richard Haskett, Executive Director
National Scenic Byway Foundation
118 Wildwood Bay Drive
Mahtomedi, MN 55115
I linked it with key words, including all six intrinsic qualities, scenic byways, roads, etc.
The other thing I wanted to tell you was that the Foundation Board met with Gary, Cindi, Michelle, an employee of ARDC, and a facilitator in DC recently. We came up with some basic ideas for the Foundation Board, which follow:
1) The NSBF is on the right track and has a role to play in the byways community; it can be a "friends" organization.
2) Some of the roles the NSBF can play are advocate for the program, develop friends groups, fund-raising, granting, serving as a banker, partnering with corporations, raising public awareness of byways, and serving as a communication link betweent the byways and FHWA.
This is a very short summary of a two-day meeting. If anyone would like to see the notes from the meeting, contact me and I'll get a copy of them for you. - Laurie Frantz, New Mexico, 505-827-8428, email@example.com
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