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DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke

On July 17, members of the Made in America Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee will meet with Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke and his senior leadership team for the first time to discuss a range of outdoor recreation issues, including campground modernization and expansion.

RVIA Today Express reported that the committee’s role will be to advise the department on ways to expand and improve infrastructure on and around federally managed public lands, streamlining the use of effective public-private partnerships, implementing sustainable business operations, improving visitor experiences and creating better tools and more opportunities for Americans to enjoy the great outdoors.

This advisory committee is the result of a meeting between the members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, including the RV Industry Association, and Secretary Zinke in 2017. Representing the RV industry on the committee are Matt Miller, president of Newmar Corp.; Antonio Gonzalez, director of operations, Erwin Hymer Group North America Inc; and Jim Rogers, past chairman & CEO of Kampgrounds of America (KOA).

The inaugural meeting of the committee will be in the DOI’s South Penthouse on July 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Per federal regulations, the agenda for the meeting and details on public participation are required to be published in advance. According to the Federal Register notice, the purpose of this inaugural meeting is to discuss the following topics:

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Election of chair
  • Trail systems
  • State partnerships
  • Concessions
  • Broadband and infrastructure
  • Campgrounds of the future
  • Public comment period

The RV Industry Association’s federal affairs team has been working closely with DOI leadership and Congress to address infrastructure needs, reduce the deferred maintenance backlog, increase recreational access and modernize and expand camping opportunities on and around public lands.

The outdoor recreation sector contributes greatly to rural communities, the health and wellbeing of Americans and the U.S. economy. Outdoor recreation makes up 2% of U.S. GDP and accounts for $673 billion in annual gross domestic output. This impact exceeds that of key U.S. industries such as farming and computer manufacturing. In addition, the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.8% in 2016, exceeding the 2.8% growth of the overall U.S. economy during the same period.