Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) President Jessica (Wahl) Turner attended the signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act at the White House with President Biden and other leaders from across the country. ORR was formed, in large part, to work towards better recognition of the outdoor recreation economy’s contributions to the U.S. economy, as well as the improvement and expansion of outdoor infrastructure and access for all. Today’s signing is a huge step toward achieving the outdoor recreation industry’s goals and ORR’s presence is a major recognition of the importance of this vital and growing sector.
For media attending today’s signing, Jessica is available to provide additional comments on the impact of this groundbreaking legislation on the outdoor recreation industry and economy.
See ORR’s statement on the historic infrastructure package, with $100 million in outdoor recreation infrastructure support included, among other programs vital to the outdoor recreation economy, sending it to President Biden’s desk.
“We appreciate the hard work by President Biden, members of his administration, the House and the Senate to come to an agreement on a broad and impactful bipartisan infrastructure package that invests in our local communities, our public lands and waters, and our people,” said Jessica Wahl Turner, president of ORR. “This infrastructure package provides an opportunity to not only rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and airports, but also to improve the infrastructure behind our beloved public lands and waters.”
Turner continued, “Meaningful investments in transportation, public lands, rural development, and natural infrastructure connect more people to the outdoors and strengthen the outdoor recreation economy. This creates new jobs, helps the U.S. remain globally competitive, and ensures we recover from the impacts the pandemic had on businesses, local communities, our health, and our quality of life. We encourage Congress to advance this historic package to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.”
The outdoor recreation industry is especially appreciative that the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes:
$100 million for restoring, preparing, or adapting recreation sites on Federal lands: This is a key provision the outdoor recreation business community worked on and is imperative to ensure the continued growth and success of the industry as well as safe and quality outdoor experiences for all Americans.
Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund: This important funding supports fishery restoration and conservation efforts, boating access and infrastructure, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, as well as important fish stocking programs.
Investments in Natural Infrastructure: As we are increasingly dealing with the impacts of extreme weather across the country due to climate change, such as droughts, hurricanes and wildfires, these vital investments in natural infrastructure solutions, including green infrastructure, coastal restoration, and regenerative agriculture will help strengthen conservation, enhance outdoor recreation experiences, and reduce carbon emissions. The National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program will greatly benefit the recreational fishing economy and its enormous impact on local economies and communities.
Forest Service’s Legacy Road and Trail Program: The authorization of $250 million for this important program will help to increase recreation opportunities by investing in maintenance of Forest Service roads and trails near threatened water bodies.