The federal shutdown has impacted federal workers, businesses and nonprofits, communities, and countless American families.  And this much is clear: the shutdown caused serious problems for outdoor recreation.  Now that a short-term deal has been reached, federally managed public lands and waters will return to normal operations.  But the recreation industry urges Congress and the Administration to take steps to ensure any future shutdowns do not disrupt access to, and operations of, our national parks and other federal recreation sites.

During the shutdown, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) expressed its concern over the effects of the crisis on federal lands and waters to the Administration and Congressional leaders.  Letters were sent with a statement from ORR signed by 23 leading outdoor recreation associations and organizations.  The statement details the negative effects of the shutdown on the outdoor recreation industry and our shared public lands and waters, highlights lessons learned, offers potential solutions to problems experienced, and proposes new policy ideas that will help the nation’s great outdoors be insulated from the harmful effects of future shutdowns.

“We propose a conversation around common-sense policies for future shutdowns, so America’s businesses, families and parks are not put in this position again,” says the statement.  “The great outdoors should be exempt from harm over issues unrelated to the great outdoors.”

Read ORR’s full statement here.  The letters to the President and Congressional Leadership are available here and here.