Winnebago CEO Mike Happe shaking hands with USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue. ORR Chair and NMMA President Thom Dammrich in foreground.

Recreation took center stage at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday (Jan. 8) as Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) leaders and recreation company CEOs met with Secretary Sonny Perdue, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Jim Hubbard and other key officials.  

According to a press release, the group noted the importance of national forests to many recreational activities, and highlighted the world-class experiences provided to anglers and skiers, hikers, climbers, campers, paddlers, boaters and motorized trail enthusiasts.

The recreation leaders also underscored the key role national forests play in rural economies across the country and the importance of key provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill that will allow rural economic development grants for recreation infrastructure in rural America.
Perdue said wildfire costs had impacted the department’s recent recreation efforts, and thanked the recreation industry for its role in recent legislation that should control future fire costs at USDA and allow the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the recreation industry achieve new recreation successes built around partnerships.  He told the group about his initiatives for recreation during his tenure as governor of Georgia, boosting boat ramps, fishing programs and state parks.

To read the full story, click here.