Finally, A Legislative Package Only The Grinch Would Oppose

Dec 1, 2021

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday, December 2 at 10am ET on the Outdoor Recreation Package. Outdoor Recreation President Jessica Turner will be testifying during the hearing on the benefits of the package for the entire outdoor recreation industry. The RV Industry Association also submitted testimony in favor of the package that can be viewed here. The Outdoor Recreation package will benefit the RV industry by taking crucial steps to address it by modernizing campgrounds, growing jobs, and ensuring all Americans have the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of living an active outdoor lifestyle.

Over the past year and a half, as COVID-19 clarified the value of time outside for physical and mental health and connecting with community, Americans have turned to the outdoors like never before — boating, camping, ATVing, hiking, hunting, biking, fishing, RVing, paddling and so much more. Last year, for the first-time in decades, hunting and fishing license sales increased from the year before and over half of Americans participated in outdoor recreation activities. Sixty-five percent of Americans polled are still looking for safe outdoor recreation experiences to spend their time. These record-setting gear, equipment, vehicle, license sales and participation trends look to continue for years to come. 

Americans’ connection to the great outdoors isn’t just healthy for people and their communities, it creates healthy economies. Before being impacted by the pandemic, outdoor recreation made up 2.2 percent of U.S. GDP, contributed over $788 billion to the nation’s economy and employed 5.2 million Americans. At the state and local level, outdoor recreation-based economies have seen some of the most rapid recovery from the pandemic, as outdoor amenities and the communities that support them have been in high demand from visitors and locals alike. With the newfound prioritization of time spent outside and the recreation economy’s positive impacts in every corner of the country not dissipating anytime soon, improving recreation management, access and infrastructure is no longer a nice to have, but a must have. This is why outdoor recreation businesses, associations, conservation groups and enthusiasts are calling on Congress to pass a first-of-its-kind Recreation Package. 

Through a combination of bipartisan and bicameral bills the outdoor recreation industry has long supported — including the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) ActRecreation Not Red Tape Act (RNR), and the Ski Hill Resources for Economic Development (SHRED) Act– as well as other outdoor recreation legislation like the newly introduced Outdoor Recreation Act, this package would be a legacy achievement for our shared natural resources and all who enjoy them today and in the future. 

Read the full article from The Hill here.

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