America’s Outdoor Recreation Package Gaining Momentum
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
CONTACT: Cody Wertz
America’s Outdoor Recreation Package Gaining Momentum
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) is celebrating one more win for the $862 billion outdoor recreation industry with the passage of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), the first ever package specific to the outdoor recreation industry, by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“We are so thrilled AORA continues to move forward in Congress, showcasing how the outdoor recreation economy transcends politics and benefits all Americans who enjoy the outdoors,” said Jessica Wahl Turner, President of ORR. “We thank Senators Manchin and Barrasso and the many other champions of the outdoor industry in Congress for continuing to push this vital recreation package and look forward to its continued progress through Congress this year.”
The outdoor recreation industry contributes $862 billion dollars to the national economy, makes up nearly 2% of national GDP and generates 4.5 million jobs according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is a huge economic driver for both rural and urban communities in every corner of the country. ORR’s diverse membership is committed to helping the industry continue to grow in a sustainable way, supporting the people and businesses that keep the industry up and running day to day, and expanding access so that all Americans can experience the amazing benefits that come from spending time recreating outside.
Additional Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Member Quotes:
“Outdated regulations in the outfitter-guide permitting system have made it time consuming, unpredictable, and unnecessarily difficult for guide services and outdoor organizations to provide guided climbing and skiing experiences on public lands,” said Matt Wade, interim executive director of the American Mountain Guides Association. “The America’s Outdoor Recreation Act includes provisions that will remove old roadblocks in the permitting system and enable more Americans to experience the joy of rock climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing in forests and parks across the country. The American Mountain Guides Association applauds Senators Manchin and Barrasso for introducing this landmark legislation.”
“By giving outfitters and public land agencies new tools and resources to improve access and the permitting process, we can all focus on what’s really important: building people’s connections with our greatest resource, the shared American landscape. America’s Outdoor Recreation Act bolsters the outdoor recreation economy and opens the doors for outfitters new and old to provide ample and affordable guided opportunities to folks from all walks of life,” said Aaron Bannon, executive director of the America Outdoors Association.
"American Prairie is glad to see the advancement of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act. Outdoor recreation generates over 4% of Montana's GDP, second in the nation only to Hawaii. We support the bill's provisions to fund rural economic development in gateway communities and enhance public access to public land." - Mike Quist Kautz, Director of Public Access at American Prairie
“The sportfishing industry thanks Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso for advancing this incredibly important legislation for America’s outdoor recreation community,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). “The America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is a comprehensive set of provisions to ensure our public lands are well managed and conserved to benefit the outdoor recreation economy and all those who love the outdoors.”
“The Archery Trade Association is thankful for the many champions in Congress serving to advance and support this important legislation” said Dan Forster, Vice President & Chief Conservation Officer of the Archery Trade Association. “The America’s Outdoor Recreation Act will help ensure that our federal public lands are accessible, well managed, and continue to provide a critically important foundation for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.”
"The $50 billion powersports industry commends Congress for advancing America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, which would help create additional opportunities for motorized access to federal recreational lands, improve recreation infrastructure, support local communities, and bolster the nation’s economy," said Erik Pritchard, President and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. "Outdoor recreation is vitally important to America because it boosts the physical and mental health of all people, and having access to public lands and trails is crucial for the millions of ATV, dirt bike, and side-by-side riders and drivers. We thank our legislators for recognizing the importance of this bill and urge swift bipartisan action to pass this act.”
“The National Forest Recreation Association extends its sincere appreciation to Chairman Manchin, Ranking Member Barasso and the other senators who have been champions of the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act,” said Marily Reese, Executive Director of NFRA. “The AORA recognizes the importance of having and maintaining the infrastructure and facilities needed for quality outdoor recreation experiences to both the health and well-being of the recreating public as well as the rural economies which rely on a robust outdoor recreation economy. NFRA is hopeful Congress can pass the AORA for the benefit of the American public.”
“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act will bolster outdoor recreation access and opportunities for the millions of Americans who continue to discover the benefits of the great outdoors and time spent on our nation’s lands and waters,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “We thank Senators Manchin and Barrasso for their bipartisan leadership in advancing this critical bill and urge Congress to swiftly consider and pass the bill in the weeks to come.”
"Recreation in our great natural spaces is invaluable to our physical and mental health and spiritual well being," National Wild Turkey Federation Co-CEO Jason Burckhalter said. "Like our members and me, millions venture into national forests, grasslands and public waterways for ethically harvested, organic protein through hunting and fishing. The American Outdoor Recreation Act opens opportunities and provides infrastructure to support these and other recreational users and is vital to ensuring access to people of all walks of life who want to enjoy what nature has to offer."
“After building significant support for the legislation in the last Congress with lawmakers, outdoor industry leaders, and other stakeholders, we are thrilled to see Senators Manchin and Barrasso advance this historic comprehensive outdoor recreation bill. This package would provide meaningful support for outdoor recreation opportunities across the country at a time when a record number of Americans are getting outdoors and benefitting from the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide,” said Kent Ebersole, executive director of Outdoor Industry Association. “Federal outdoor recreation legislation will have a real impact on the ability of all Americans to spend time outside, while bolstering the outdoor recreation economy and the jobs it provides to communities across the country. We applaud these forward-thinking lawmakers for their leadership and their commitment to improving access to America’s lands and waters.”
The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is the nation’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations representing the $862 billion outdoor recreation economy. ORR focuses on the growth of outdoor recreation by building a better environment for the sustainable growth of outdoor recreation businesses and driving a broader understanding of the value of the outdoor recreation economy. Our membership includes national outdoor trade association members, business entities, nonprofit organizations, and universities — serving more than 110,000 businesses and representing America’s, boating, fishing, RVing, biking, hiking, camping, hunting, motorized, diving, horseback and skiing communities among many more.Cody Wertz
Freestone Strategies, LLC