Outdoor recreation is at the forefront of conversations on Capitol Hill this week. And for the first time, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing on Wednesday, October 30 which focused solely on outdoor recreation. The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and the RV Industry Association have been working with offices of Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) and Ranking Member Steve Chabot (OH-01) on how Congress can address the unique challenges and opportunities facing small businesses in the outdoor recreation industry.
 
The hearing, “Force of Nature: The Power of Small Businesses in America’s Recreational Infrastructure,” included statements by ORR witnesses and findings from the
newly released Bureau of Economic Analysis state reports. The hearing examined the economic impact of the outdoor recreational infrastructure, how small businesses contribute to this industry and how the federal government can ensure the industry continues to positively impact the economy through a comprehensive infrastructure package. Three of the witnesses who testified are members of ORR who also own small businesses including Frank-Paul Anthony King of Temple Fork Outfitters, Lindsey Davis of WYLDER and John Wooden of River Valley Power & Sport. They were also joined by expert outdoor recreation industry economist Ray Rasker, Ph.D. 

Recreation continues to be the focus of a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today, Thursday, October 31, as the committee considers two priority bills for outdoor recreation: Recreation Not Red-Tape Act (S. 1967) and Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act (S. 1665). These important pieces of legislation are supported by businesses and nonprofits across the industry and will help ensure the continued growth of this vibrant sector.

Last June, members of the RV industry advocated for the passage of the Recreation Not Red Tape Act during RVs Move America Week as this legislation will help to modernize the country’s campgrounds and improve access to public lands by removing barriers that limit outdoor recreation while holding federal agencies accountable for making outdoor recreation a priority for the first time and increase volunteerism to address the maintenance backlog on America’s public lands.

Both hearings are available for livestreaming on the committee websites.

Watch the (recorded) hearing with the House Small Business Committee Hearing from Wednesday, October 30 here.

Watch the (recorded) hearing with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing from Thursday, October 31 here.