Access to outdoor recreation, from the backyard to the backcountry, is important to all OIA members and their customers. Some OIA members and partner non profit and education organizations who provide individuals, children and their families with the opportunity to experience public lands in a sustainable and exciting way through a guided outing rely on access to the outdoors through the federal special use permitting process. Outdoor recreation, education and outfitting providers are focused on offering immersive experiences and are not only big business in gateway communities across the country, but also the vehicle by which urban youth and first time recreationists get outside.

However, the current processes for administering special recreation permits is not sufficiently flexible to accommodate evolving uses of public lands and waters by a wide range of user groups, even though the federal agencies’ mission is to get more people outside to enjoy our public lands. By promoting a better process for guides, outfitters, nonprofits and education groups to get people outside, and by working with appropriate agencies on federal land use plans that balance the interests of a diversity of recreation users while protecting recreation assets through legislation and executive designations, OIA and our Outdoor Access Working Group partners are hoping we can create the next generation of recreationists buying outdoor gear and apparel and maintain the thriving small businesses who rely on access to public lands.

Pillars for the Outdoor Access Working Group:

  • The agencies need to improve access to public lands and waters.
  • The inability of current management strategies to adapt to changing markets and demands restricts opportunities to enjoy public lands, undermining local economies.
  • Streamlining processes and adopting known best practices will help us reach our shared goal of providing more Americans with meaningful outdoor experiences, as well as creating jobs in gateway communities.

Outdoor Access Working Group Steering Committee Members:

Below is a list of the Outdoor Access Working Group’s Steering Committee members. Each Steering Committee member is organizing outreach to a segment of the stakeholder community. Listed below are examples of the types of organizations they are working with, but do not represent a comprehensive list of the groups involved in the OAWG.

Large & Small Outfitters:

  • David Brown (America Outdoors)
  • Rebecca Bear (REI)

Large & Small Nonprofit Programs:

  • Aaron Bannon (National Outdoor Leadership School)
  • Paul Sanford (The Wilderness Society)

Volunteer Based Clubs:

  • Katherine Hollis (The Mountaineers

Advocacy Groups:

  • Adam Cramer (Outdoor Alliance)

University / Metropolitan Outdoor Programs:

  • Jeannette Stawski (Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education)

Outdoor Industry Association:

  • Dan Nordstrom (Outdoor Research)
  • Jessica Wahl (Outdoor Industry Association)