In response to the burgeoning growth in outdoor recreation, the Outdoor Alliance, a non-profit organization, is spearheading a legislative initiative to enhance public land management.
This move comes as recent economic and participation data underscore the sector’s rapid expansion, necessitating improved management and financial support for public lands.
As per a report, the Outdoor Alliance has long been a proponent of the human-powered outdoor recreation community, advocating for the protection and sustainable use of public lands and waters.
The organization’s efforts have culminated in the development of a comprehensive package of recreation policy, aimed at augmenting outdoor recreation on these public resources.
In recent weeks, this legislative effort has seen significant progress with the introduction of complementary packages in both the U.S. Senate and House. The Senate has put forward the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), while the House has presented the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act.
The Outdoor Alliance is now calling for public support to ensure the passage of these bills. They have established a quick-action form on their website, enabling individuals to send personalized letters to their representatives, urging them to back this crucial legislation.
A report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) last month highlighted the substantial economic impact of outdoor recreation.
The sector generated $1.1 trillion in economic output, accounting for 2.2% of the U.S. GDP, and supported 4.98 million jobs. These figures not only represent the largest numbers ever recorded for the industry but also mark an 18 percent increase from the previous year.
The legislative package includes several key acts that directly impact various aspects of outdoor recreation. The Biking on Long Distance Trails Act (BOLT) focuses on the development of long-distance bike trails.
The Protecting America’s Rock Climbing Act (PARC) aims to safeguard Wilderness climbing areas. The Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act (SOAR) seeks to streamline recreational permitting processes for outfitters and guides. Additionally, the package provides permanent direction for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership and FICOR.
Louis Geltman, VP of Policy and Government Relations at the Outdoor Alliance, emphasized the significance of the EXPLORE Act.
He stated, “Millions of Americans get outside each year, and the EXPLORE Act will improve management for climbing and mountain biking, enhance how agencies manage outdoor recreation, and invest in parks where they are needed most with the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership.”
For campground and outdoor hospitality operators, this legislative push represents a pivotal moment. The proposed reforms and investments could lead to enhanced infrastructure, better-managed public lands, and potentially increased visitation. This, in turn, could translate into greater demand for camping facilities, glamping sites, and RV parks, offering a significant boost to the outdoor hospitality sector.
The outdoor recreation industry stands to benefit substantially from these legislative developments. Improved public land management and increased financial support will likely lead to more sustainable and enjoyable outdoor experiences for enthusiasts. This could result in a more vibrant and robust outdoor recreation economy, benefiting businesses and communities connected to this sector.