The RV Industry Association applauds the leadership of state senators in Illinois, Massachusetts, and West Virginia for recognizing the importance of growing their states’ outdoor recreation economies by introducing legislation to create Offices of Outdoor Recreation (OREC offices) within their state governments. If successful, these three states will join 17 others who have established offices or task forces of outdoor recreation.
Illinois State Senator Craig Wilcox introduced legislation (IL SB 2061) last month that would establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry within the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. RV Industry Association Legislative Analyst Ashley Brinkman is working closely with Sen. Wilcox and his staff to support the successful passage of the bill and is hopeful the legislation will receive a hearing soon.
“In Illinois, the RV industry has an economic impact of $2.4 billion and supports more than 11,761 jobs and $701.2 million in wages paid to Illinois residents,” said Brinkman. “We are one of many industries in the state that have a vested interest in our state parks, our campgrounds, and the other outdoor spaces that make Illinois a great place to go RVing. The RV industry is happy to support this legislation from Senator Wilcox and look forward to its success.”
Massachusetts State Senator Adam Hinds and West Virginia State Senator Mark Maynard, both avid outdoorsmen, have re-introduced their legislation from their states’ last sessions to create an OREC office in their respective states (MA SD 2058 and WV SB 86). The RV Industry Association is encouraged by their demonstrated dedication to supporting the outdoor recreation economies of Massachusetts and West Virginia.
RVers are avid participators in many outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, boating, and snow sports. And while outdoor recreation is a significant part of our American heritage, it is also a pillar of our nation’s economy. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported outdoor recreation represents 2.2 percent of the total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and contributes $778 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
The RV Industry Association, along with other members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, have called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation. The RV industry will continue to work with policymakers in Illinois, Massachusetts, and West Virginia to support the successful passage of these bills.