PRIVATE: AHC, OUTDOOR RECREATION INDUSTRY PRAISE INTERIOR’S CREATION OF NEW RECREATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The U.S. Department of the Interior is devoting important new resources to outdoor recreation on America’s public lands and waters. Secretary Ryan Zinke today announced the creation of a Recreation Advisory Committee to help improve visitor experiences through expanded public-private partnerships. The committee will be “dedicated to looking at public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving the infrastructure on public lands.” The Secretary has also appointed former Navy SEAL Captain Rick May as a new Senior Advisor to the Secretary, focusing on outdoor recreation
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in economic impact and supports 7.6 million jobs across the country. The creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee shows the Department’s commitment to supporting its continued growth.
“The equine industry, along with the outdoor recreation industry, is excited by the creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “With 3.9 million equines involved in recreational riding and an economic impact of $32 billion, recreational riding is an incredibly important segment of the diverse equine industry. We look forward to working together to help the Department successfully deal with the big issues facing outdoor recreation, and allowing equines access to public lands and trails in order to continue to provide great benefits to the American people.”
The committee will offer new opportunities for experienced and committed supporters of the Great Outdoors to collaborate with the Secretary and other Interior officials on a wide range of issues, including expansion of world-class visitor services and infrastructure, skillful management of peak visitation, improving fee collection, incorporating new technologies, and much more.
This action is the result of numerous meetings between the Department of the Interior, the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR), the National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA) and more. In April, senior officials from Interior and the U.S. Forest Service met with more than 30 representatives of the outdoor recreation industry at Shenandoah National Park to discuss improving visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters. That meeting was followed by another April gathering where Secretary Zinke told recreation industry leaders he needed creative, bold thinking to help him deliver recreation experiences on Interior lands, overcoming such problems as congestion in areas like Yosemite Valley and unsustainable financial operations of recreation programs. In July, ORIR and NPHA presented the Secretary and his team with nearly 30 ideas that can provide immediate and dramatic improvement to visitor experiences and reductions in deferred maintenance through private investments.
About the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable:
OUTDOOR RECREATION INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE – is a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations working to promote the policy and legislative reforms needed to grow the outdoor recreation economy. Roundtable members represent the thousands of U.S. businesses that produce vehicles, equipment, gear, apparel and services for the millions of Americans who enjoy our nation’s parks, waterways, byways, trails and outdoor spaces. Combined, the various business sectors within the outdoor recreation industry generate $887 billion-per-year in economic activity and provide an estimated 7.6 million direct jobs. Coalition members produce the eight largest recreation tradeshows in the U.S. and their members annually contribute $40 billion in federal excise tax, sales tax and duties.