Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and The Outdoor Foundation lauded Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell for plugging her vision and plan to protect the nation’s public lands to support businesses, communities and young people.
In a speech Thursday at the National Press Club, Jewell stated, “for the health of our economy and our public lands, it’s critical that we work now to establish meaningful and deep connections between young people from every background and every community and the great outdoors.”
Nearly half of all Americans participate in outdoor activities, spending $646 billion on outdoor recreation every year, supporting more than 6.1 million sustainable American jobs and generating nearly $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue.
“We are excited to support Secretary Jewell’s ambitious goals to engage the next generation through education, employment and volunteer opportunities,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the charitable arm of Outdoor Industry Association. “Working in partnership with the outdoor industry, the Outdoor Foundation has made significant progress engaging and empowering the next generation of outdoor stewards and enthusiasts through our summits, projects and local advocacy efforts. We look forward to working with the Department of the Interior, our industry and other partners to announce new initiatives that will support the Secretary’s goals and help us achieve our broader mission of growing a strong Outdoor Nation.”
Jewell, who served as CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc. until being confirmed as Secretary of the Interior earlier this year, called on Congress to protect and fund the nation’s public lands, particularly to ensure full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“As the recent outcry over the parks and public land closures during the shutdown indicated, the nation’s parks, waters and trails are American icons and economic drivers in this country,” said Kirk Bailey, Vice President for Government Affairs at Outdoor Industry Association. “Outdoor recreation is big business. It’s time that Congress and the Administration work together to pass a budget that ends unpopular cuts and invests in America’s parks, trails and waterways as economic drivers.”
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives, and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services.