Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President David Humphreys called for an end to “extreme and unreasonable restrictions” on access to national parks and other public lands during testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands.
The recent hearing was scheduled in reaction to tighter restrictions that the National Park Service (NPS) imposed to preserve park resources by limiting usage for outdoor recreation purposes.
Appearing on behalf of the RV industry and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), which he also chairs, Humphreys said, “The National Park Service is charged with both protecting resources and enhancing visitor experiences. We must demand that this mandate be followed.”
National park visitors have historically been the most ardent supporters of protecting key portions of our outdoors, contributing in such tangible ways as volunteerism and hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and donations, Humphreys said.
RV owners are environmentally conscious, he said, noting that RVs are self-contained, which allows owners to take all of their waste away from the campsite to be disposed of properly.
Public land agencies should harness new technologies and management approaches to distribute usage better, Humphreys said. He expressed support for separating visitors from the vehicles they use to reach the parks by offering better transportation options, as the private sector does at many ski areas, theme parks and other destinations.
“The legacy of the outdoors will be protected best by those who know the outdoors firsthand,” Humphreys said. “To ensure that knowledge we must increase, not reduce, access opportunities, including access for urban youth, for seniors, for families headed by single parents and for the physically challenged.”