Established by Congress in 1946, the Committee included representatives from 15 federal agencies including: the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service; the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and Extension Service; the U.S. Army; the Public Housing Administration; and the Public Health Service and Office of Education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Congress also considered going further and creating a Federal Recreation Service, but ultimately never took action on the matter. The Committee served largely as a forum to discuss and debate national recreation policy and lacked any formal enforcement mechanisms. It was eventually disbanded by order of the Secretary of the Interior in 1963.
Interestingly, in 2011, the Obama Administration announced the creation of a new federal interagency council to coordinate and promote outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands in partnership with federal, state, and tribal agencies. Part of the broader “America’s Great Outdoors” initiative, the council included representatives from the Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Army, Department of Commerce, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR). The FICOR Memorandum was announced today at a White House event with the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and other wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation organizations.