The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) presented its Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award to Representative Elise Stefanik, Representative Erik Paulsen and Senator Jon Tester for their continued support of the outdoor recreation economy and key issues important to the outdoor industry.

In addition to these federal champions, Governors Steve Bullock (MT), John Hickenlooper (CO) and Matt Mead (WY) were all recognized for the work they are doing in their home states to grow the outdoor recreation economy by establishing offices of outdoor recreation and taking advantage of the opportunity local recreation brings to supporting and diversifying economies across their states.

“This year’s award winners reflect the outstanding support the outdoor industry is earning, both on the federal and state levels,” said OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts. “Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic force and a foundation for healthy communities and healthy economies across the United States. We are proud to present these awards to three state governors and three champions for the outdoor industry in Congress.”

About the recipients:

Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)
• Authored the Republican Climate Resolution and member of the Climate Solutions Caucus
• Supporter of recreation legislation such as the Recreation’s Economics Contributions Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund
• Worked to protect places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
• Supportive of OIA trade priorities like MTBs and GSP Travel Goods

Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03)
• Strong support for OIA’s trade agenda including the U.S. OUTDOOR Act, GSP Footwear Act, MTBs and GSP Travel Goods
• Co-sponsored the Recreation’s Economic Contributions Act
• Support for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness by voting “no” to a bill that would open it up to mineral development

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
• Member of the Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus
• Supportive of key OIA recreation priorities such as Recreation Not Red-Tape, wildfire funding reform and keeping public lands public
• Key supporter of the Land and Water Conservation Fund
• Supportive of OIA’s trade agenda, including the U.S. OUTDOOR Act, MTBs and GSP travel goods

 Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT)
• Leader in the creation of the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation
• Steadfast commitment to improving public lands access and management in Montana
• Released an energy blueprint for Montana to prepare the state for a balanced and responsible energy future and joined a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to plan a regional electric vehicle corridor

 Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
• Commitment to growing Colorado’s recreation economy
• Led in the creation of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office
• Creation of the nation’s first Public Lands Day
• Signed the state onto the U.S. Climate Alliance, signed an executive order to address climate change in the state and joined an MOU to plan a regional electric vehicle corridor

Governor Matt Mead (R-WY)
• Leader in creating Wyoming’s Outdoor Recreation Task Force
• Dedication to supporting outdoor recreation as a key element of diversifying the state’s economy
• Supportive of research to find innovative ways to address emissions and joined an MOU to plan a regional electric vehicle corridor

The 2018 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Awards were celebrated during an evening reception on Capitol Hill during the OIA Capitol Summit on Wednesday, April 18.