The RV Industry Association’s Government Affairs team and its partners in the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable have long worked with legislators on issues involving increased access to outdoor recreation activities. Last week, the Government Affairs staff and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable members participated in a series of virtual meetings with several key outdoor recreation policymakers.
The first meeting was with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who recently agreed to fund and appoint a Director of Outdoor Recreation, a position the RV Industry Association has been lobbying for. Governor Hutchinson is also the incoming Chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA), which gives him considerable influence on the NGA staff and their agenda. In his role as Chairman, Governor Hutchinson discussed with the Government Affairs team the importance of investing in outdoor recreation throughout the states. Additionally, Governor Hutchinson expressed an interest in helping stimulate outdoor recreation and welcomed any opportunity to continue investing in Arkansan campgrounds.
The next meeting was with incoming Chief of the US Forest Service Randy Moore. He expressed gratitude to the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s members for insisting that the US Forest Service receive dedicated funding through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). Chief Moore also talked about the thousands of campgrounds, bridges, dams, and reservoirs on Forest Service lands that he hopes to address with GAOA funds. The Government Affairs team will continue to work closely with Chief Moore and his team to help provide additional guidance on where some of that GAOA funding might be directed.
Finally, the Government Affairs team met Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who oversee the US Forest Service. Similar to Mr. Moore, Secretary Vilsack expressed his thanks for the work the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable did for the US Forest Service with GAOA funding. Secretary Vilsack also acknowledged the critical importance that outdoor recreation will play for the entire country. He emphasized to the Government Affairs team how crucial firefighting, re-forestation, and forest resiliency will be moving forward.
Hearing these leading policymakers talk about the significance of outdoor recreation and modernized campgrounds is evidence that our message is successfully resonating with influential policymakers. Moving forward, the Government Affairs team hopes to continue these types of conversations with legislators and other Administration officials as the outdoor recreation industry continues to expand.