ORIR Holds Capitol Hill Briefings On Growing the Outdoor Recreation Economy
by: Mary Jane Williamson, Dir Communications,
(Mar 11, 2017 - Washington, D.C.)
Outdoor recreation took center stage on Capitol Hill March 7. The Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) held briefings for staffers from both the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate, introducing the newly formed organization itself and detailing the tremendous economic impact of outdoor recreation within the United States.
ORIR representatives reported that outdoor recreation generates $646 billion in direct economic spending and supports some 6.1 million jobs in the U.S. And they explained that there are great opportunities to increase that impact in the future by expanding access to healthy, active fun outdoors on America’s public lands and waters. They also briefed Congressional staffers about ORIR’s key goals, which include:
1. fast tracking the implementation of the recently enacted Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act; 2. prioritizing recreation-related infrastructure improvements in federal agency budgets; 3. establishing more public-private partnerships to address maintenance backlogs on public lands; 4. achieving better balance between recreation and conservation in federal agency decisions; and 5. developing and deploying a digital information strategy for outdoor recreation on federal lands
“As an outcome of cuts in Federal spending, many Federal agencies are reducing or eliminating recreational opportunities,” said Archery Trade Association President Jay McAninch. “The ORIR member industries believe this is tragic, and are offering private investments on public lands as a way to provide all Americans with the chance to recreate outdoors – an American birthright. Our industry’s view is this a much-needed stimulus for the Federal lands which are solely lacking in welcoming our citizens outdoors.”
“An Eisenhower era infrastructure and public lands management approach will not meet the needs of a 21st century consumer,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the RV Industry Association. “That is why we were on Capitol Hill, introducing the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable to the Senate and House of Representative and sharing our ideas about policy and regulatory reforms necessary to grow the outdoor recreation economy.”
The ORIR also delivered another key message: tight federal budgets should not be allowed to reduce access to public lands and waters or diminish the quality of outdoor recreation experiences. Solutions to budget-related challenges involving partnerships and private investment have long been a tradition on the nation’s public lands and need to be embraced.
The well-attended briefings opened doors to improved communication and partnerships between ORIR and Congressional offices that will continue to raise Congressional awareness of the importance of outdoor recreation and encourage actions to improve recreational opportunities on America’s public lands and waters.
About the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable:
OUTDOOR RECREATION INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE– is a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations working to promote the policy and legislative reforms needed to grow the outdoor recreation economy. Roundtable members represent the thousands of U.S. businesses that produce vehicles, equipment, gear, apparel and services for the millions of Americans who enjoy our nation’s parks, waterways, byways, trails and outdoor spaces. Combined, the various business sectors within the outdoor recreation industry generate $646 billion-per-year in economic activity and provide an estimated 6.1 million direct jobs. Coalition members produce the eight largest recreation tradeshows in the U.S. and their members annually contribute $40 billion in federal excise tax, sales tax and duties. American Sportfishing Association (ASA)is the sportfishing industry's trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America's 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation's waterways through Keep America Fishing®, our national angler advocacy campaign. America's anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.