Outdoor recreation is taking on a more prominent role at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today signed two secretarial orders continuing his efforts to prioritize the Department of Interior’s recreation mission and increase access to public lands.
Secretarial Order 3366 directs certain Interior bureaus to create and deliver plans to the Department within 90 days that focus on developing or expanding recreational opportunities on public lands and waterways. This order also directs bureau heads to designate one full-time employee charged to oversee recreational opportunities.Secretarial Order 3365 establishes the position of Senior National Advisor to the Secretary for Recreation to ensure deliberate and active coordination of recreational policy in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The position will be filled by Rick May, who currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary. May, a decorated retired Navy SEAL Captain, is a passionate outdoors enthusiast and has quickly earned the respect of national recreation leaders.
“From my first day on the job, I have made it abundantly clear that we are going to refocus on Interior’s long-standing but recently forgotten recreation mission,” said Secretary Zinke according to today’s press release on the secretarial orders. “We are incredibly fortunate, as Americans, to have amazing public lands and waters to carry out our tradition of outdoor recreation but the Department must continue to create opportunities to increase access for these pursuits.” To read the full press release, click here.
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) leaders praised today’s orders. “We are delighted by the Secretary’s actions to put in place what he has pledged: a system that will elevate the priority of outdoor recreation on public lands and waters managed by the Department of Interior,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR Chair and President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The Secretary’s action recognizes the importance of outdoor recreation for our economy, particularly rural economies, and for the physical and mental health of all Americans. His actions today will help grow outdoor recreation and ensure that fun in the outdoors remains central to the American lifestyle. The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable pledges our support to the Secretary in his efforts to elevate the Department’s commitment to outdoor recreation.”
“Outdoor recreation is an economic engine that produces 2% of the U.S. GDP and is growing at a faster rate than the U.S. economy as a whole,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, ORR Vice Chair and RV Industry Association President. “With the right public policies, outdoor recreation will continue to be an American economic engine for years to come. Which is why the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and its member associations applaud today’s announcements by Secretary Zinke as a common-sense plan to elevate the importance of outdoor recreation on public lands and waters throughout the Department of the Interior. This is an important step towards improving the visitor experience on public lands and waters across the country.”
“The recreation industry looks forward to cooperating with the Department to offer visitors to parks, refuges and other special places great experiences,” said Derrick Crandall, ORR President. “The result of better and modernized visitor infrastructure will contribute to a renaissance of rural communities and a renewed commitment by all Americans to the strong conservation ethic our nation has shared with the world. We thank Secretary Zinke for putting a new emphasis on welcoming enjoyment of our public lands and waters and embracing new skills and new ideas to make visits compatible with protecting our natural and historic resources.”
To learn more about the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, visit www.
ORR Serves as Nation’s Premier Outdoor Recreation Coalition
Representing Significant Sector of U.S. Economy
Washington, D.C. (April 13, 2018) – Congressional and administration officials joined recreation industry leaders yesterday to mark the formal launch of the nation’s premier coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). The event provided a platform for the group to officially outline its priorities as it works to educate decision makers on Capitol Hill about the importance of the outdoor recreation economy and ensure our nation’s public lands and waters remain accessible for outdoor enthusiasts.
Yesterday’s Capitol Hill reception brought together a bipartisan group of lawmakers and staff – including seven Members of Congress – committed to enhancing America’s great outdoors and increasing public accessibility through common-sense policy solutions. With attendance on public lands and waters dwindling and facilities aging, ORR aims to ensure an attractive and enjoyable experience for visitors. From WiFi availability to refurbished marinas, infrastructure upgrades must be a priority. Due to the maintenance back-log and budget shortfall facing our National Park System, private partnerships and funding can make these much-needed upgrades a reality. What’s more, adequate access for outdoor recreation on our public lands and waters deserves attention. In this arena, ORR’s priorities range from revamping the permitting process so it runs more efficiently, reducing permitting periods from what can often take years, to ensuring land and water management decisions fully balance conservation and access so outdoor enthusiasts aren’t wrongfully restricted from experiencing public spaces.
During the bipartisan congressional reception at the Rayburn House Office Building, ORR emphasized the importance of the outdoor recreation industry to the U.S. economy. The launch also included the unveiling of a new website, www.RecreationRoundtable.org, which will serve as a resource to learn more about the industry’s economic impact, the coalition’s membership and the latest outdoor recreation news from across the country.
Earlier in the day, outdoor recreation leaders met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to discuss the role of the department’s new Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, which will serve as a collaborative panel to facilitate public-private partnerships that improve public lands and waters. Discussions with the secretary also included ways that the Interior Department, which manages more than 25 percent of the American landscape, can elevate outdoor recreation as a federal priority.
“It is a landmark day for the outdoor recreation industry in the United States,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “From boating and fishing to camping and hiking, we are united in working toward a shared goal of making outdoor recreation a national priority. Our public lands and waters are vital to our daily lives as Americans as well as to our larger economy. As outdoor enthusiasts and organizations that represent millions of workers across the country, together, we can ensure outdoor recreation remains a treasured pastime and economic driver.”
Yesterday’s events follow the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) report that found the outdoor recreation industry’s annual gross output to be $673 billion, surpassing other sectors such as agriculture, petroleum and coal, and computer and electronic products. This was the first time BEA, the government agency responsible for reporting U.S. GDP, included the outdoor recreation industry in its calculations. In addition, BEA found that outdoor recreation makes up 2 percent of the U.S. GDP and has increased an average of 4.4 percent since 2012, significantly greater than the 3.6 percent average increase in the overall U.S. GDP.
“America’s outdoor recreation industry is finally being recognized by national leaders for its importance to the health of the U.S. economy, and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is going to play a major role in advocating for policies that ensure we can continue being a driving economic force,” said ORR Vice Chair Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the RV Industry Association. “Our members serve the nation’s millions of outdoor recreation enthusiasts, and our top priority is to advocate for policies that will provide them with a better experience through improved public lands and waters infrastructure. Doing so will lead to an enhanced recreation economy that benefits all Americans.”
ORR’s policy agenda includes several key pillars that will improve the outdoor recreation economy and enhance America’s public lands and waters for generations. The agenda includes:
- Fostering collaboration between the outdoor recreation industry and federal policy makers;
- Removing barriers that prevent improvement and maintenance of public lands through public-private partnerships;
- Prioritizing accessibility of public lands so that more Americans can enjoy the great outdoors;
- Advancing balanced policies that conserve public lands and waterways so that they can be accessed and enjoyed today and by future generations of Americans; and
- Ensuring that the outdoor recreation economy is recognized by policymakers for its importance to the health of the overall economy.
Please visit www.RecreationRoundtable.org for more information on the coalition’s activities and membership.
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Welcomes Department of Interior’s New Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee
Committee Will Give Stronger Voice to America’s Outdoor Recreation Industry and Enthusiasts
Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2018) – The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) today welcomed the U.S. Department of the Interior’s announcement of the members of the newly-established Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee. The Committee is charged with finding solutions that will improve and conserve America’s public parks, lands and waters through strategic public-private partnerships.
The Committee’s membership includes individuals from multiple industry sectors, giving the Interior Department unique perspectives on improving public lands. ORR member organizations—several of which are represented on the Committee, along with ORR President Derrick Crandall—are committed to providing the Committee their ideas and experience to help achieve the best outcomes for the nation’s tens of millions of outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The formation of the Committee came after the Department heard calls from a wide sampling of outdoor recreation groups and advocates seeking a more formal voice on issues affecting the future of outdoor recreation in the United States.
“With over 144 million American outdoor recreation enthusiasts and a $673 billion annual economic output, the outdoor recreation industry has an important voice in the policy discussions about the future of America’s public lands and waters,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We want our leaders to advance policies that will improve the experience of Americans as they enjoy the great outdoors and conserve public resources for future generations. Today is an important step towards meeting those goals, and we appreciate the Interior Department for formalizing this Committee. And ORR wants to reassure all recreation interests that whether they are directly represented on the Committee or not, ORR will work tirelessly to give all recreation interests access to and a strong voice with the Committee and the Administration.”
In early 2018, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)—the government agency responsible for reporting U.S. GDP—included the outdoor recreation industry in its calculations for the first time. The BEA found that the outdoor recreation industry makes up 2 percent of U.S. GDP, surpassing other sectors such as agriculture, petroleum and coal, and computer and electronic products. Today’s news is the latest sign that America’s leaders are recognizing the major footprint of the nation’s outdoor recreation economy.
“Our industry is dependent on healthy public lands and waters that are responsibly maintained and upgraded,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, ORR vice chair and president of the RV Industry Association. “Visitors to public parks and other lands and waters too often experience worn-out facilities that are long overdue for upgrades, and they are demanding action from our federal leaders. We look forward to working with the Committee members and Interior Department to find solutions that meet the needs of America’s outdoor recreation community and to educate them on the many industries that rely on America’s outdoor recreation economy.”
Once active, the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee will be a key source for the Interior Department to learn about the benefits of improving public lands and waters through public-private partnerships. ORR members widely support these partnerships as a smart, efficient way to help ease the maintenance backlog on America’s public lands. The Committee will make recommendations for actions to the Secretary and the Department. ORR members see the Committee appointments as an important first step, but believe that significant changes to Interior programs and policies will be the ultimate measure of the Committee’s importance.
The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is the nation’s premier coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations. It is committed to advancing the basic elements needed to grow this vital economic sector, including: sound and sustainable management of U.S. public lands and waters, and updating infrastructure and technology on those lands to create quality experiences in response to changing recreation preferences. A listing of ORR members is attached.
On April 12, ORR will be formally unveiling a brand-new website showcasing the importance of the outdoor recreation industry to the American economy and the need for commonsense policy solutions to improve America’s public lands. Be sure to bookmark www.RecreationRoundtable.org and visit us on April 12 for this exciting launch.
Industry Calls for Creation of Outdoor Recreation Offices in All 50 States
Washington, D.C. (February 26, 2018) – The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) today called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) and reaffirmed its commitment to working collaboratively with state leaders to advance outdoor recreation priorities across the country.
This call follows last week’s National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., during which ORR met with several governors and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to discuss the importance of the outdoor recreation industry to state economies. The discussions between ORR members and participating governors, including Govs. Matthew Mead (R-Wyo.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Gary Herbert (R-Utah) centered around the need for OREC offices in every state to facilitate greater public participation in outdoor recreation activities and generate stronger local economic activity. Each governor was honored for his contribution to the great outdoors and was presented with a commemorative challenge coin for the commitment to delivering prosperity and fun through outdoor recreation.
“OREC offices have proven to be exceptionally effective at encouraging greater use of the great outdoors,” said Derrick Crandall, ORR president. “Greater participation in outdoor recreation means a stronger economy – something each of the governors we honored last week fully understands. As the prime months for outdoor recreation are upon us, we encourage all governors to join their peers who are already experiencing the benefits of an OREC office in their state.”
OREC offices play a critical role in increasing outdoor recreation participation by working with local communities to improve infrastructure, coordinating recreation efforts statewide and promoting the benefits of engaging in outdoor recreation among the citizens of their state. To date, OREC offices have been established in eight states: Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
“It was an honor to welcome so many leaders who share in our enthusiasm for enhancing outdoor recreation in the United States,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, ORR vice chair and president of the RV Industry Association. “As the nation’s premier outdoor recreation coalition, ORR looks forward to working with the nation’s governors to develop OREC offices in all 50 states so that we can maximize the rapidly growing economic impact of our industry nationwide.”
Earlier this month, the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account of the Bureau of Economic Analysis – the government agency responsible for reporting U.S. GDP – calculated for the first time the outdoor recreation industry’s annual gross output: $673 billion, or 2 percent of GDP, which surpasses other sectors such as agriculture, petroleum and coal, and computer and electronic products. The report also showed the outdoor recreation industry’s GDP has increased an average of 4.4% since 2012, significantly greater than the 3.6% average increase in the overall U.S. GDP. This is the latest evidence of the rapid growth of the outdoor recreation industry.
ORR was formed in February 2018 with the merger of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations, and the American Recreation Coalition, an organization of recreation interests that has had a significant and positive impact on outdoor recreation for more than three decades.
Inaugural Report Highlights Economic Influence of Outdoor Recreation Industry
Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2018) – The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) today applauded the release of the first-ever government report recognizing the outdoor recreation industry as a significant economic contributor to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Released by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)—the government agency responsible for reporting U.S. GDP—the report calculated the outdoor recreation industry’s annual gross output to be $673 billion, surpassing other sectors such as agriculture, petroleum and coal, and computer and electronic products. The report marks a critical step forward for the outdoor recreation industry by formally recognizing its economic influence.
“Today’s report affirms what those of us in the outdoor community already know – outdoor recreation has a far-reaching positive impact across the U.S. and our economy,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “As an industry, we are proud to generate millions of American jobs and be a driving economic force from coast to coast, and we are grateful that BEA and the Department of Commerce have decided to recognize that. This report is further evidence of the need for sound public policy that encourages continued growth in the outdoor recreation industry.”
ORR was formed in February 2018 with the merger of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations, and the American Recreation Coalition, an organization of recreation interests that has had a significant and positive impact on outdoor recreation for more than three decades. ORR is committed to advancing the basic elements needed to grow this vital economic sector, including sound and sustainable management of U.S. public lands and waters, and updating infrastructure and technology on those lands to create quality experiences in response to changing recreation preferences.
In addition to reporting on the outdoor recreation industry’s annual gross output, the BEA’s initial findings report that outdoor recreation makes up 2.0 percent of the U.S. GDP. More importantly, the outdoor recreation industry’s GDP has increased an average of 4.4 percent since 2012, significantly greater than the 3.6 percent average increase in the overall U.S. GDP.
“This is a welcome signal of the critical economic role outdoor recreation plays in the United States,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, ORR vice chair and president of the RV Industry Association. “We are thrilled to represent a rapidly growing industry that helps keep America’s economy strong and brings enjoyment to millions of Americans. Given the right public policies, outdoor recreation will continue to be an American economic engine for years to come.”
The full report issued by ORSA and BEA can be found here.
American Recreation Coalition, Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable to Unify as Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2018) – Recreation industry leaders announced today the formation of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), a powerful unified entity that will provide a strong voice for outdoor recreation across America. The new organization combines the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations, which was formed in 2017, and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), an organization of recreation interests that has had a significant and positive impact on outdoor recreation for more than three decades.
The newly elected chair and vice chair of ORR spoke about the importance of the new organization and its mission. “Protecting, promoting and enhancing recreational experiences on America’s public lands and waters are core values for those of us who are privileged to work in the outdoor recreation industry,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We not only have the most at stake when it comes to preserving outdoor spaces, we also have the most at stake when it comes to moving policy forward and providing visitor services that meet the needs of the modern outdoor lifestyle.”
“Outdoor recreation is rising in popularity and diversity,” noted ORR Vice Chair Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the RV Industry Association. “Consumer expectations have radically changed while public land and water management have not kept up with their needs. Because of this, industry leaders have searched for new ways to strengthen the collective voice of the outdoor recreation industry to ensure it remains a critical economic engine and growing pastime for all Americans.”
Joining Dammrich and Hugelmeyer as ORR officers are Glenn Hughes, president-elect of the American Sportfishing Association, who will serve as secretary, and Phil Ingrassia, president of the RV Dealers Association, who will serve as treasurer.
The transition will be guided by an expanded board of directors chaired by Dammrich. Implementation of programs and activities will be overseen by ORR’s new chief staff officer Derrick Crandall, who had been president of ARC. Expanded communications efforts, supported by new staff resources, will begin by mid-2018. The ORR Board will announce further details as they become available. Most ARC programs will continue uninterrupted, including Great Outdoors Month® and Partners Outdoors, along with regular policy briefings and other communications.
The transition to the new organization began in early 2017, when the clear value of a more unified and focused recreation industry, advocating on behalf of a multi-billion-dollar industry sector, became evident. Together, industry leaders spoke out on the importance of the recreation economy and the basic elements needed to grow this vital economic sector, including: updated infrastructure to support quality experiences; sound and sustainable management of the nation’s public lands and waters; responsiveness to changing recreation preferences; and utilization of new technology. The industry delivered another unifying message: Public-private partnerships are essential to reduce the multi-billion-dollar maintenance backlog on public lands and to provide needed recreation facility upgrades.
In October, an unprecedented gathering of outdoor recreation trade association executives explored ways to meet these challenges and reached agreement on the following long-term objectives:
- Achieve recognition that outdoor recreation is a major economic player and that growth of the outdoor recreation economy is a necessary and bipartisan goal;
- Persuade the federal government to embrace a pro-recreation “culture change”;
- Increase recreational access to public lands and waters;
- Advocate for sustainable funding and increased usage of public-private partnerships;
- Boost infrastructure modernization and reduce backlogged maintenance to produce better visitor experiences;
- Continue to support responsible conservation efforts; and
- Encourage the next generation’s participation in outdoor recreation activities.
The participants concluded that the industry needed to unite even further to form the clear and leading voice for the outdoor recreation industry, setting the stage for the formation of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable a short three months later.