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Premier Outdoor Recreation Ideas Exchange at Virtual ‘Partners Outdoors’ Event in June

For almost 30 years, Partners Outdoors has been the premiere venue where stakeholders from the federal agencies, business, and non-profit sectors come together to discuss the future of outdoor recreation. The annual conference hosted by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is back and scheduled for June 1 & 2, 2021 after a year hiatus due to COVID.

“We encourage anyone with an interest in the future of outdoor recreation and land and water management, funding, equitable access and infrastructure to attend this virtual two-day event and participate in discussions around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on outdoor recreation, the future of the recreation workforce, recreation policy and more,” said Jessica Turner, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “The networking and conversations that occur during Partners Outdoors will be extremely beneficial for the public, private and nonprofit sectors as we begin to implement the Great American Outdoors Act, prioritize Land and Water Conservation Fund projects, work with the new Biden Administration on recreation priorities and set a course for bipartisan recreation policy in Congress.”

This year’s Partners Outdoors will be June 1st and 2nd and will include key speakers and leaders from the White House, Congress, National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Forest Service, as well as ORR members, university partners, and cross-sector business leaders, such as Vista Outdoor, WinnebagoKOA and more. Together, these partners will work on the outdoor recreation industry’s most important issues. Session topics will include:

  • Impacts of COVID-19 on Outdoor Recreation;
  • Recreation and Conservation Working Together;
  • 21st Century Outdoor Recreation Workforce; and
  • The Future of Recreation Management and Policy among much, much more!

Check out the Partners Outdoors website for a link to register, and more information: https://recreationroundtable.org/partners-outdoors/.

ORR Encouraged by Administration’s Commitment to Recreation Access in ‘America the Beautiful’ Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, the nation’s leading outdoor recreation coalition, released the following statement on the Biden administration’s ‘Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful’ report.

“The bottom line is that access to healthier public lands and waters means more opportunities for Americans to recreate outside and for communities’ economies to thrive,” said Jessica Turner, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “ORR supports the administration’s ‘Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful’ effort and we are encouraged by its goals to conserve and protect our nation’s lands and waters through science-based, locally led efforts that create access to motorized, non-motorized, fishing and hunting recreation opportunities for all. We are also particularly pleased that this report prioritizes recreation access that already exists, while recognizing that access needs to be maintained sustainably in the future as places are conserved.”

Turner continued, “We believe sustainable management of our great outdoors is paramount for us to address climate change while further bolstering the outdoor recreation economy. We also appreciate the report’s acknowledgment of the connection between healthy places, healthy communities and jobs. We plan to work with the administration on the implementation of ‘America the Beautiful’ and to have outdoor recreation representatives advise in this effort. Together, we can continue to build on Americans’ love for the outdoors and outdoor recreation for generations to come.”

Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association added, “The 30 by 30 initiative has generated a lot of attention within the recreational fishing community. We are pleased that the Biden Administration is approaching 30 by 30 with an understanding of the significant cultural, economic and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides the nation, and emphasizes the value of increasing access for outdoor recreation.”

“As a community dependent on clean water, healthy fisheries, and reasonable and responsible access to our natural resources, implementing this plan will put us on a trajectory toward maintaining and advancing these conservation objectives,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We appreciate the administration’s balanced approach to 30 by 30, and on behalf of the uniquely American-made recreational boating industry, NMMA strongly supports this collaborative effort.”

“The conservation of more of our public lands means more places for RVers to visit for generations to come,” said Jay Landers, vice president of government affairs at the RV Industry Association. “We applaud the 30 by 30 efforts and look forward to working with the Biden Administration to ensure these efforts include balanced land use and increased access to recreation activities.”

Earlier this year ORR developed a set of recommendations for the Biden administration as it developed its 30 by 30 goals and actions. Those recommendations are available here.

Colorado’s Outdoor Industry Leaders Team Up to Remove Accessibility Barriers

Colorado’s western slope offers limitless outdoor adventure opportunities, and a new partnership among national, state and local entities, including the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) is addressing accessibility barriers. The Glenwood Springs Gear Library provides free outdoor gear and additional information to help remove barriers to participation. 

“Colorado’s majestic outdoors belongs to us all and we are pleased to join local officials and our industry partners to foster inclusive participation,” said Colorado’s Outdoor Industry Office (OREC) Director Nathan Fey. “We share Governor Polis’ vision of a Colorado for all. This gear library helps open up the Roaring Fork Valley’s great outdoors for everyone to enjoy the wide-ranging benefits of Colorado’s outdoors.”  

The Gear Library was born out of Glenwood Springs’ participation in the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC) workshop. RERC is a new planning assistance program offered through a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA Forest Service, and the Northern Border Regional Commission. The program helps communities develop strategies and an action plan to revitalize their Main Streets through outdoor recreation.

During Glenwood Springs’ participation in RERC, staff, stakeholders, and community members agreed that outdoor recreation should be inclusive, accessible and enjoyed by all, and that it is essential for well-being, mental and physical health and a sense of community. Participants then discussed barriers to access which included the lack of points of entry into typical outdoor recreation activities, the high cost of equipment to participate in many activities and for some, a sense of unwelcomeness and unawareness due to language barriers.
 
To address these issues, the Glenwood Springs Parks & Recreation Department is creating a low cost/free equipment rental opportunity at the community center that will allow members of the community who may not be able to afford or are not ready to financially commit to the high cost of equipment a chance to utilize the equipment and discover new outdoor recreation activities. All materials (instructions for use, waivers, etc.) will be available in both English and Spanish. 

The Gear Library offers both spring/summer and fall/winter gear and equipment. Whenever possible, gear was purchased from Colorado companies such as High Society Paddle Boards or sourced from Colorado retailers, further supporting Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry. Equipment available for use includes snowshoes, cross-country skis, fishing gear, standup paddleboards, kayaks and mountain bikes as well as safety equipment such as helmets and life vests in both adult and youth sizes. 

“The City of Glenwood Springs is very excited to offer a Gear Library to our community to enable those who may not otherwise be able to afford to participate or haven’t found the right avenue to participate an opportunity to experience the vast array of outdoor recreation activities we have available,” said Karstin Moser, Parks and Recreation Administrator. “We’re also working to keep the entire program very Colorado-centric by purchasing the equipment for the library from outdoor recreation businesses based in Colorado.” 

To help support the Gear Library, OREC partnered with SmartWool and the VF Foundation to provide funding for the acquisition of equipment and technical support, ensuring the library offers a variety of equipment sizes and options. 

“At Smartwool, we aspire to build an outdoor community for all,” said Jen McLaren, Brand President at Smartwool. “We want to ensure that everyone has equitable access to get outside and are committed to breaking down barriers that exist for some communities. Access to outdoor gear is one of those barriers, which is why we are excited to support the Glenwood Gear Library.”

“The VF Foundation believes in the power of community-based partnerships that support a more equitable and sustainable world,” said Gloria Schoch, Executive Director of The VF Foundation. “We’re excited to join our Smartwool brand in supporting OREC’s resourceful, circular and inclusive approach to encouraging greater outdoor participation in our very own backyard in Colorado.  We hope this new program will contribute to a more welcoming environment where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy their outdoor experiences to the fullest.”

ORR, the leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations working to promote the growth of the outdoor recreation economy, facilitated the partnership between funding partners, and identified Glenwood Springs as an outstanding opportunity for local investment. 

“A lot of time and energy within the outdoor industry goes into securing and ensuring access to the outdoors for all Americans though fighting for new infrastructures like campgrounds, marinas, trails and more as well as working to designate new and protect existing monuments, parks and wilderness areas,” said Jessica Turner, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Yet, we want to do more as an industry to make sure other barriers such as access to outdoor gear and expertise are equally available to everyone. This is why we are so proud to support Glenwood Springs’ Gear Library and hope to be involved with more of them across the nation.”

Job Posting: JEDI Coalition Lead

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Title: Coalition Lead 

Hours: 1 year, full-time, contract position  

Reports to: Vice President 

Location: Washington, D.C. area preferred, remote considered  

About The Position: For the outdoor industry to thrive and remain relevant while also contributing to access and equity for a better outdoor industry, it must become more inclusive for  groups who have historically been excluded from and/or underrepresented in outdoor recreation  (e.g. Black, Indigenous and other Persons of Color, Disabled, LGBTQ+, different socioeconomic status, immigrants, etc.).  

For this to happen, all sectors of the industry, including human powered (hiking, climbing, biking, equestrian, diving etc.), hunting and angling, motorized, hospitality brands, retailers and manufacturers must unite around shared goals for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). 

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) seeks an experienced professional with a passion for uniting businesses in the outdoor industry around JEDI opportunities. This position (“Coalition Lead”) will manage the design and implementation of a campaign which aims to develop the  voices and capacities of leading companies in the outdoor industry for JEDI work. Specifically, the program will equip business owners and service providers with internal-facing educational materials and training, and external-facing point of sale tools and marketing materials that help train workers and companies on important JEDI measures and make the outdoors more inviting to new and diverse user groups and existing outdoor enthusiasts.  

While the components of the campaign are subject to change, they may include:

  • Convening of cross-sector business leaders and stakeholders from across the recreation spectrum  
  • Convening of diversity advocacy groups and consultants from across the recreation spectrum 
  • Creation of educational tools to highlight JEDI issues relevant to outdoor brands, manufacturers, retailers, and user groups and their employees 
  • Development of public-facing marketing materials to be displayed at outdoor recreation sites (e.g campground, marinas, trailheads, ski resorts, parks, and national forests), “How-to” guides to welcome new users to outdoor recreation with best practices and advice to make the most out of outdoor experiences

The Coalition Lead will manage a variety of stakeholders to create and deliver a business focused, point-of-sale campaign to promote inclusivity and education for new users. They will have the support of the ORR staff and public relations team, as well as contract graphic and web  designers to support the full implementation of this work.  

Responsibilities 

Program Design/Development/Implementation – 80% 

  • Research existing efforts, strengths, weaknesses, and specific needs of coalition members to understand opportunities for progress 
  • Convene stakeholders in key sectors to define shared objectives, learning goals for the new coalition, strategic plan, and metrics for success 
  • Work with existing diversity education groups and individuals to create an advisory council to the campaign 
  • Design and propose a community feedback process 
  • Support drafting and implementation of marketing and outreach strategies for coalition members 
  • Facilitate monthly meetings and support coalition with JEDI education, creation of strategies and materials, and roll-out and implementation of deliverables 
  • Support administration of grants to participating businesses for the delivery of campaign materials 
  • Re-convene stakeholders for feedback, next steps (expanding to boating, fly fishing, etc. / creating a new entity) 

Marketing/PR – 20% 

  • Manage design contractors for graphic/website 
  • Manage fulfillment of campaign materials to partners 
  • Support PR rollout (e.g. press releases, webinars, op-eds) 

Qualifications 

Required Experience and Personal Qualifications: 

  • Passion for JEDI efforts in the outdoor industry and life experience that informs this passion 
  • Understanding of key JEDI initiatives and leaders in the outdoor industry
  • 4+ years work experience in JEDI work with business leaders, particularly organizational change and implementation related to JEDI 
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail 
  • Experience managing program budgets 
  • Strong presentation and public speaking skills 
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines effectively working individually and with different groups and stakeholder teams
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills  
  • Demonstrated ability to develop one-on-one relationships with key partners and business/association executives 
  • Tolerance for adversity and uncertainty in planning and execution 
  • Personal alignment with and passion for Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s mission and values 

Location 

We are hoping to find a candidate located in the Washington, D.C. area. However, we will consider the position being performed remotely.  

Compensation: 

The Campaign Lead will be compensated with a competitive annual contract rate commensurate with experience, starting at $75,000. As a contract position, benefits are not included. However, the position will be considered for development into a full-time salaried job with benefits after one year.

 

Eligibility: 

 

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will  be considered without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or  conviction, citizenship status or current employment status. We value diverse experiences and educational backgrounds. 

How to Apply 

Please send a cover letter and resume to ldavis@recreationroundtable.org with “Coalition Lead” in the subject line. You will receive confirmation of your application  within three business days. No phone calls, please. 

ORR is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities in the employment application and interview process. If accommodations are needed for an  interview, please submit that request along with your application or in advance of your interview by at least one week. 

About Outdoor Recreation Roundtable: The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is the nation’s  leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations, made up of 33 national association members representing more than 110,000 U.S. businesses. As the leading recreation entity,  Outdoor Recreation Roundtable promotes the growth of the outdoor recreation economy and of outdoor recreation activities. We educate decision makers and the public on balanced policies that conserve public lands and waterways and enhance infrastructure to improve the experience and quality of life of outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. 

ORR represents the business voice and the most sector diversity in the recreation economy. With our existing membership and infrastructure, we are capable of convening key partners across the RV, boating, fishing, hunting, motorized communities and more, who present an opportunity for a new and broadened reach for inclusivity work in the outdoor industry.  

At ORR, we recognize that the outdoor industry has been exclusive throughout its history — explicitly in laws and regulations and implicitly through cultural norms and values. We recognize that we are part of this system, and we are eager to generate change. We envision a future in which all communities — particularly Black, Indigenous and other Persons of Color, Disabled, LGBTQ+, different socioeconomic status, immigrants, and other underrepresented  groups — feel valued and welcomed in outdoor recreation. This is what drives our work.

ORR Celebrates Secretary Haaland’s Confirmation: Good for Outdoor Recreation, Access & the Economy

“ORR and the entire outdoor recreation industry are excited for Rep. Haaland’s game-changing and historic confirmation to be the next Secretary of the Interior,” said Lindsey Davis, acting executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Throughout her career Rep. Haaland has worked to improve and increase access to the outdoors for recreationists, and she understands how this access to public lands and waters is vital to rural communities and the nation’s outdoor recreation economy. We look forward to continuing to work with her as Secretary on outdoor recreation issues, access and economies.”

Women Leaders in the Outdoor Industry Hold Media Call Discussing Rep. Haaland’s Nomination for Interior and ORR’s Priorities

On the eve of her first Senate confirmation hearing, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) women leaders held a media discussion regarding Representative Debra Haaland’s nomination to be Secretary of the Interior and what it means for the outdoor industry. Topics covered included ORR’s priorities for Interior including outdoor infrastructure, funding the recreational trails program, bolstering the civilian conservation corps and more. The group also touched on the role of women leaders, like those on the call, in moving the $788 billion outdoor recreation industry forward. A link to the audio of the call is available here.

Read the full letter of support.

ORR Statement on Reversal of a Burdensome Secretarial Order for LWCF Program

“Today’s reversal of the previous administration’s secretarial order is welcome news! There are myriad shovel ready projects to connect popular trails and recreation areas that involve complex land access issues between federal, state and private lands. This reversal makes that process much more doable with all the federal land agencies, including the BLM. We look forward to working with the administration on the best way to implement LWCF projects and leverage additional support from stateside dollars.” – Lindsey Davis, acting executive director at Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

ORR Sends Letter of Support for Regan for EPA Administrator

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable sent the following letter of support to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for the nomination of Michael Regan to be the next Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Read the full letter.

ORR Expresses Support for Vilsack 2.0!

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable sent a letter of support to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry for the nomination of Tom Vilsack to be the next Secretary of Agriculture.

Read the full letter here.

ORR Encouraged By 30 by 30 Goals, Wants Outdoor Rec. Interests Involved

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) is encouraged by President Biden’s executive order announcing the goal to fight climate change and create jobs, in part through the 30 by 30 initiative. In December, ORR provided the Biden transition team the ORR Transition Policy Paper outlining the outdoor recreation industry’s support for the 30 by 30 concept but noting the need to ensure public access is preserved as well as a desire to work with the administration on details and implementation.

“ORR is encouraged by the Biden Administration’s goal to combat climate change through the 30 by 30 initiative, but recreational fishing and outdoor activity interests need to be represented,” said Lindsey Davis, acting executive director of ORR. “Outdoor recreation contributes over $788 billion annually to the U.S. economy and includes over 5.2 million jobs. We are going to work with the administration to make sure that through this initiative Americans continue to have access to the public lands and waters that make outdoor recreation possible and that help to fuel so much of the nation’s economy.”

30 by 30 Section of the ORR Transition Policy Paper:

We support and embrace the overlap between our collective work toward conservation and the establishment of global biodiversity principles in the “30 by 30” initiative, which aims to conserve 30 percent of the globe’s lands and waters by 2030. Recreation access and the enjoyment of our public lands and waters is imperative to the success of 30 by 30. Well-managed and sustainable outdoor activities are in harmony with 30 by 30 goals and continue to support jobs and economic activity in communities across the country while areas are conserved for climate solutions. Maintaining the sense of connection to our abundant resources and unrivaled natural beauty that these activities provide is essential to ensuring we have natural resource and biodiversity stewards for the next century, just as we have had in the past, and that places transitioning from traditional extractive industries have a bright economic future.

Ensure that any “30 by 30” policies properly account for the following principles:

1.     Explicitly recognize the imperative role that outdoor recreation plays in conservation and as economic engines in communities throughout the country.

2.     Include protected area definitions that allow for well-managed and sustainable outdoor activities.

3.     Consider existing protected areas in measuring progress toward stated goals.  

4.     Seek to achieve targeted, science-based conservation measures developed through a stakeholder-driven process, that includes the recreation industry voice, to address biodiversity threats.

5.     Clearly define roles and authorities for the entities charged with carrying out the 30 by 30 initiative proposal.

6.     Through an objective, science-driven, stakeholder-engaged process determine the appropriate level of management necessary to meet biodiversity and conservation goals while supporting sustainable recreation.