The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) has already scored a series of wins in 2019, something not many groups in Washington, D.C., can claim in today’s polarized political climate.
As reported by Soundings Trade Only, a historic natural resources bill, passed in February, contains big wins for the recreational fishing and larger outdoor recreation communities, including permanent reauthorizations of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Every Kid Outdoors Act and a measure supporting sportsmen’s access to public lands. The group also celebrated long-term funding of the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, which measures outdoor recreation’s contribution to the gross domestic product. As a result, the federal government will appropriate its first-ever study of outdoor recreation’s economic impact on a state level.
“I think the beauty of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable right now is that we are coming together when there is so much divisiveness in Washington,” said Executive Director Jessica Wahl.
The victory is especially sweet knowing there are competing interests among the diverse coalition that makes up ORR, including advocates from boating, fishing, archery, horseback riding, biking, RVs, motorcycling and shooting sports, to name a handful. “All our industries operate in silos, and each has unique needs,” Wahl said. “But a consumer doesn’t see those silos. They don’t care what each association is doing. They just want people to protect the places they play.”
The ORR has identified hundreds of baseline issues that all the industries care about. “We’re still going to have those local XYZ recreational groups at odds with ABC recreational group,” she says, “but if we’re all getting to know each other better, it gets easier to solve these issues.”
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