The America’s Outdoor Recreation Act has arrived in the United States Congress. It’s a bill aimed at updating policies for outdoor recreational activities whose first version dates back to 1963 and which has never been modified in the last 60 years. The new legislation is backed by strong bipartisan support. The RV Industry Association (RVIA), which brings together all the major industry players in the USA, along with the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, are urging rapid approval of this bill, which would boost local and national economies and offer American citizens, in particularly those in underserved areas, greater access to green spaces and public lands and waters.
Outdoor recreation activities are an $862 billion industry, providing millions of jobs and stimulating economies in communities large and small. “As outdoor recreation continues to grow in popularity and economic impact,” the RVIA website reads, “federal land management agencies need updated tools to improve access to America’s public lands and waters. With unprecedented demand for RV camping, it’s become imperative that our nation modernize and expand campgrounds”.
All the advantages of the new bill
The new bill prioritizes outdoor recreation on federal lands while balancing conservation needs. The ACt will also increase jobs and improve access to public lands. Also, if approved, it will enable partnership agreements to sustainably modernize campgrounds on federal land, offer assistance to outdoor recreation businesses that supply accommodations, including campgrounds, through the use of financial and technical assistance programs, extend shoulder seasons for distribute demand and bring broadband/Wi-Fi to even the most remote facilities.
“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is crucial to the RV industry and the wider outdoor recreation industry,”says Craig Kirby, President & CEO of the RV Industry Association. “It remains a significant factor in making sustainable improvements to our nation’s campgrounds and improving the experiences of current and future RVers. In addition, the Act provides greater access to the health benefits offered by the great outdoors and offers an economic boost to both the local and national economy.”
“This is a commonsense, no-cost bill that will help equalize and expand 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 much of the policies supporting outdoor recreation are outdated, making it difficult for more people to get out and have fun. We need modern solutions that improve infrastructure and access while protecting America’s public lands and waters, and America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is an historic step to update these policies.”
The Senate is expected to review the bill in the coming weeks, while several bipartisan bills have been introduced in the House that also focus on outdoor recreation and will be discussed in a hearing by the Natural Resources Committee later this month.
Photo credit: RVIA