While participating in a discussion with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Randy Moore, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), the country’s leading outdoor recreation coalition, released the following statement on the second anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA).
“In the early stages of 2020 when the pandemic was raging, stores and business were shuttered, and many treasured outdoor locations closed to the public, it was hard to imagine we would pass one of the most significant pieces of outdoor legislation in decades,” said Jessica Turner, President of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Fast forward two years and GAOA is already a huge success, permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund with at least $900 million each year and ensuring substantial resources for federal land and water management agencies to fix and maintain our parks, forests, trails, campgrounds, lakes, and rivers.
It is appropriate that on the second anniversary of GAOA we are speaking directly with Chief Moore about the future of recreation infrastructure, the renewal of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation, rural economic development, and more. USFS has already worked with the outdoor recreation industry to help categorize projects so we can best understand GAOA’s impact, and the National Park Service is looking to do the same. The Bureau of Land Management has included connecting underserved communities to recreation as part of their prioritization process, something we recommended when the law was passed and several of our LWCF priority projects have already been funded.
While there are myriad outdoor projects yet to fund, update, or fix, we remain ecstatic about how far support for the outdoors and the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy has come. Since the GAOA was signed into law, many great projects have been approved for funding, including the Cave Run Lake Pavement Resurface project at the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky which allocates $6 million to improve recreational boating infrastructure at six different boat ramps, the Tuolumne Meadows Campground Rehabilitation project at Yosemite National Park which will utilize $26 million to improve drive-in campsites, horse camps, day use sites, and make accessibility improvements, and many more projects across the country.
We look forward to continuing to work with the agencies and our members to prioritize projects that will make outdoor experiences and access better for all Americans.”