Great Outdoors Month

  • ORR led the way during Great Outdoors Month, which included Kids to Parks™ Day, Bike Travel Weekend, National Fishing and Boating Week, National Get Outdoors Day, the Great Outdoors Day of Service, the Great American Campout and more.
  • President Trump and all 50 governors proclaimed June 2018 Great Outdoors Month.
  • The U.S. Senate closed out the month on a high note for the industry by passing a bipartisan resolution that designated June as Great Outdoors Month.
  • The first-ever “Great Outdoors Challenge Coin” honored contributions of America’s governors as “Champions of the Great Outdoors” for their efforts in recognizing outdoor recreation’s health, educational, economic and social benefits.
  • See more great successes from Great Outdoors Month 2018 here.

“Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Holds First Meeting on July 17

  • Leaders from across the outdoor recreation community met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and discussed approaches that would allow more Americans to enjoy the nation’s great outdoors, and committee leaders were elected: Amanda Covington of Vista Outdoor is Chair and Bill Yeargin of CorrectCraft is Vice Chair. Information on all members can be found here.
  • Topics addressed included the need for strategic public-private partnerships—a top ORR priority that will expand outdoor recreation access by improving everything from transportation to Wi-Fi access, campgrounds, lodging, boat ramps and restrooms, and better use of technology.
  • The committee established four subcommittees focusing on technology and communications, partnerships, public access and infrastructure, and departmental reorganization. ORR member participation has been solicited in these subcommittees.
  • To read more about the meeting, click here.

ORR Board of Directors Holds Summer Meeting in Washington on July 24


  • recapping of ORR’s successes over the previous 18 months;
  • review of ORR financial statements;
  • reports by ORR staff, government relations and communications committees;
  • executive committee report on developments related to ORR’s management transition and strategic plan;
  • discussion of ways to explain public-private partnerships to avoid mislabeling as privatization;
  • and discussion of dates for future ORR events and meetings

ORR leaders meet with USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky

  • ORR and Deputy Secretary Censky discussed the essential role USDA plays—notably the Forest Service—in providing diverse and high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities and growing the outdoor recreation economy, especially in rural communities.
  • ORR discussed increasing the use of public-private partnerships to support outdoor recreation, including the modernizing and expanding of recreation facilities, improving trails and boosting connectivity.
  • Deputy Secretary Censky noted the Department’s role as “lucky trustees of some of the most special places in the country.” He and other senior USDA officials cheered the role of partnerships including with recreation businesses and clubs and called for the modernization of national forest campgrounds. “You are important partners,” the Deputy Secretary said, “and we want you to be even more important partners.”
  • Follow up has already begun. To read more about the meeting, click here.


On September 20, BEA’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account will be releasing updated data on the national economic impact of the outdoor recreation sector.

To maximize this opportunity, ORR will host an event in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the release of the report featuring Senators—including Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)—who are champions of outdoor recreation. More information will be coming soon!


  • September 4-6: Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit
  • September 20: ORR Executive Committee Meeting
  • September 22: National Public Lands Day
  • September 22: National Hunting and Fishing Day
  • September 27: Monthly Meetings of ORR Communications and Government Relations Committees
  • September 29: DOI Event at Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
  • See the full calendar for Q3 and Q4 here.


  • Secretary Zinke released a video July 31 calling for action on the multi-billion dollar deferred maintenance backlog affecting America’s public lands and waters.
  • ORR’s government relations committee supported these efforts with the creation of a one-pager detailing the backlog’s effects on visitor experiences, and how partnerships can help.
  • The committee has been working to rally support for the Senate’s “Restore Our Parks Act” (S.3172) and the House’s “Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act” (H.R. 6510) by urging co-sponsorships of both bills.
  • The committee is also preparing for possible hearings in both the House and Senate regarding outdoor recreation and the maintenance backlog.


  • ORR’s communications committee prioritized promoting the benefits of the outdoor recreation economy through the media this summer.
  • The committee has worked to feature recreation snapshots on key pages (including two front page features!) of USA Today showcasing outdoor recreation news.

  • Your data is needed to continue this relationship! Contact ORR staff if you have data to share with 2 million USA Today readers in a future graphic.
  • ORR’s communications committee has started arranging one-on-one briefings between key reporters and ORR’s leadership to help the media better understand the issues facing America’s public lands and waterways. Vice Chair Frank Hugelmeyer met with CQ Roll Call earlier this summer, and meetings with several additional media outlets are being scheduled in the month of September.


Highlights from summer 2018’s I-GOs