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News for December 4, 2021

US Senators Introduce Bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Bill

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U.S. Senators on Thursday introduced the Outdoor Recreation Act. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, together with Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Committee, have presented the legislation.

The bipartisan legislation will enhance and expand recreational opportunities in the outdoors across the country while also improving the infrastructure and spurring economic development in rural communities, a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association stated.

“West Virginia is home to stunning public lands that bring tourists from around the nation to enjoy the beauty our state has to offer. My bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Act will support our state’s strong and growing outdoor recreation economy while providing an economic boost to our local communities. It will also ensure our public land management agencies can continue their legacy of protecting and preserving our state’s treasured public lands so that future generations can enjoy them as we have. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this legislation becomes law,” said Chairman Manchin.

“Wyoming is home to some of the most incredible national parks and public lands in the country. The Outdoor Recreation Act will help Americans better enjoy everything Wyoming has to offer,” said Ranking Member Barrasso. “Our bipartisan legislation will help modernize public campgrounds, establish shooting ranges on national forests, and ensure increased access to America’s public lands. The bill will also leverage private funding to create new recreational opportunities on our public lands. I am thankful to Chairman Manchin for his partnership on this important bill.”

“The RV Industry Association applauds efforts to modernize campgrounds, grow jobs, and ensure all Americans have the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of living an active outdoor lifestyle. This legislation comes at a critical time as RVing is growing more and more popular, particularly with younger and more diverse Americans and will lead to more camping opportunities while creating good-paying jobs in the outdoor recreation sector, many of which are found in rural communities,” said Craig Kirby, President & CEO, RV Industry Association. 

“The bill’s gateway community assistance for outdoor recreation businesses and campgrounds, responsibly extending shoulder seasons, and bringing much-needed broadband to front country campgrounds is a priority for the $114 billion American-made RV industry and will be critical to continuing to attract the next generation of park stewards and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. We thank Senators Manchin and Barrasso for their leadership and call for swift action by Congress to pass this critical legislation.”

The Outdoor Recreation Act is supported by a large group of organizations such as Access Fund, America Outdoors, American Motorcyclist Association, American Mountain Guides Association, American Sportfishing Association, American Whitewater, Hatfield-McCoy Trails, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, National Forest Recreation Association, National Marine Manufacturing Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Outdoor Alliance, Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, RV Industry Association, Southwest Wyoming Off-road Trails, Vista Outdoors, Water Stone Outdoors, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources.

“The Outdoor Recreation Act’s pilot program to modernize federal campgrounds is an outstanding example of smart public-private partnering which will benefit outdoor recreationists for years to come. Without using any public funds, it will allow our nation’s aging campgrounds, many of which were constructed in the 1950s and 60s, to be improved to meet the needs of today’s campers,” said Marily Reese, Executive Director, National Forest Recreation Association.

“It will also promote inclusion of more diverse user groups in our outdoor spaces, including those with disabilities and those from underserved communities and a variety of cultures, through improved facilities and designs. This proposal could not come at a better time as our country is relying more and more on outdoor recreation to relax and recharge.”

“A bill as comprehensive and impactful as this has been a long time coming for the outdoor recreation industry. Its provisions are a win-win: they will ensure that all Americans continue to have access to high quality, sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities and that outdoor recreation businesses are able to efficiently and effectively connect their consumers to America’s public lands and waters and the gateway communities that surround them,” said Jessica Turner, President, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.

ORR thanks Senators Manchin and Barasso for the introduction of this bill at such an important time for the robust outdoor recreation economy, with record-breaking sales and participation taking place across the industry.”

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