In response to the draft Interior appropriations bill, Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) challenges leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to preserve funding for public land management and programs, which underpin the growing $646 billion outdoor recreation industry.
Based on a House budget released in March, the fiscal year 2014 House appropriations bill zeroes out funding for the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill also includes budget cuts averaging 19 percent, a drastic amount that would have a negative impact on the nation’s parks, wildlife refuges, forests and other public lands and waters.
“You can’t question the math,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of Outdoor Industry Association. “The spending bill proposes more than $5 billion in cuts to our nation’s public lands and waters. However, consumer spending on outdoor recreation directly generates $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. It simply does not make sense to cut funding for programs that generate a return for the local and national economy.”
A recent study by Outdoor Industry Association found that Americans spend more on outdoor recreation than on pharmaceuticals, gasoline and motor vehicles each year. A second study by The Outdoor Foundation found that outdoor recreation participation is at its highest levels in six years, with nearly 142 million people participating in some form of outdoor recreation in 2012.
“More Americans than ever are getting outside and taking advantage of America’s network of public parks, trails and waters,” said Hugelmeyer. “When Americans get outside, their spending directly supports local communities and 6.1 million jobs. More importantly, they want and deserve access to quality places to enjoy the great outdoors.”
To learn more about the economic benefits of outdoor recreation at the state and local level, visit outdoorindustry.org/recreationeconomy.
About Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353