Senate Hears Testimony On Outdoor Recreation Package

Dec 15, 2021

Outdoor recreation was front-and-center on Capitol Hill this month, as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on nine recreation bills including the Outdoor Recreation Act, Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, and the Recreation Not Red Tape Act. 

In addition to the RV Industry Association submitting testimony on the bills, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable President Jessica Turner testified before the committee on these key pieces of legislation and noted how these individual bills should be combined into the first-ever Recreation Package. This potential package could transform outdoor recreation in America at no cost to the taxpayers, improving recreation access for generations to come.

“The Outdoor Recreation Act recognizes the increased demand for RVs and takes 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,” said Chris Bornemann, RV Industry Association Director of Federal Affairs. “Importantly, the bill provides gateway community assistance for outdoor recreation businesses and private campgrounds, responsibly extends shoulder seasons, and brings much needed broadband to front country campgrounds to address safety issues and provide technologies that current and future park visitors require.”

The RV industry is also encouraged by the legislation’s establishment of a pilot program for public-private partnership agreements to modernize campgrounds on federal lands. The RV Industry Association is a longtime advocate for public-private partnerships, where appropriate, as one of the best approaches to effectively striking the necessary balance between achieving conservation needs and improving the experience for an ever-changing park visitor. These partnerships are a sensible, proven way to bring public land infrastructure into the 21st century, ensuring the federal government remains the owner of all public lands and preserving access and enjoyment of federal campgrounds for current and future generations of RVers to come.

Campgrounds are the gateway to the outdoors and RVs are the vehicles bringing the current and next generation of public land champions to the great outdoors. The RV Industry Association government affairs team continues to be one of the leading advocates to ensure Federal campgrounds are repaired, reopened, expanded, and modernized to accommodate the current and next generation of park stewards and recreationalist. The most desired improvements are longer and wider sites, additional RV hookups (electric, water, sewer), improvement of the day-to-day upkeep of campgrounds, ability to accommodate EV and other future technologies, cell/Wi-Fi service for safety purposes and to access reservations and rentals, and more “RV-friendly” campsites to accommodate the overwhelming demand. The Outdoor Recreation Act and a wider Recreation Package will go a long way in making these sustainable improvements to federal campgrounds and improve the experiences of current and future RVers.

Keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities to support the enactment of this important piece of legislation by reaching out to your elected officials.