EDGEFIELD, S.C. —America’s Outdoor Recreation Act was reintroduced today in the 118th Congress with strong bipartisan support, and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and its members across the $862 billion outdoor recreation economy urge swift approval of this bill so that many more Americans can enjoy outdoor spaces and their associated benefits to health and wellness. This groundbreaking legislation not only boosts local and national economies, it also gives more Americans — especially those in underserved areas — greater access to green spaces and public lands and waters while not costing taxpayers a dime to implement.
“This is a commonsense, no-cost bill that will help equalize and improve access to green spaces and wild outdoor places in every state in the country,” said Chris Perkins, Senior Director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “We are seeing unprecedented interest in outdoor recreation, but many of the policies supporting outdoor recreation are outdated. This package will make it easier for Americans to access the outdoors and provide agencies with new tools to address long-standing outdoor recreation needs. We need solutions that enhance outdoor recreation opportunities while protecting America’s public lands and waters, and AORA is an historic step to update these policies.”
Outdoor recreation is an $862 billion industry, providing 4.5 million American jobs and boosting economies in communities large and small. And studies have shown that enjoying time outside helps benefit a person’s mental and physical health.
“Thanks to the work of Senator Manchin (D-WV), Senator Barasso (R-WY), and the many other champions of the outdoor industry in Congress, Americans will have the opportunity to reap these benefits for generations to come,” Perkins continued. “ORR encourages swift, bipartisan action to send this bill to the president’s desk.”
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act would:
- enable permit streamlining to ease burdens on outfitters and guides and improve access to outdoor experiences;
- improve access to recreation on public lands and waters;
- ensure access to green spaces in underserved communities;
- update outdoor recreation infrastructure;
- develop, improve, and complete long range trails; and
- invest in rural economic development.
“Recreation in our great natural spaces is invaluable to our physical and mental health and spiritual well-being,” National Wild Turkey Federation Co-CEO Jason Burckhalter said. “Like our members and me, millions venture into national forests, grasslands and public waterways for ethically harvested, organic protein through hunting and fishing. The American Outdoor Recreation Act opens opportunities and provides infrastructure to support these and other recreational users and is vital to ensuring access to people of all walks of life who want to enjoy what nature has to offer.”
About the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is the nation’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations representing the $862 billion outdoor recreation economy. ORR focuses on the growth of outdoor recreation by building a better environment for the sustainable growth of outdoor recreation businesses and driving a broader understanding of the value of the outdoor recreation economy. Our membership includes national outdoor trade association members, business entities, nonprofit organizations, and universities — serving more than 110,000 businesses and representing America’s, boating, fishing, RVing, biking, hiking, camping, hunting, motorized, diving, horseback and skiing communities among many more.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.
2023 is the NWTF’s 50th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50th anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF’s people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.