#ElPrezatElCap: Obama Visits Yosemite, Recognizes Outdoor Recreation Economy

Find out how OIA and the Obama administration are working together to grow the outdoor industry and how you can help.

By Amy Roberts June 20, 2016

The past few days have been a significant and exciting time for the outdoor industry, as President Obama used his visit to Yosemite to call out the economic contribution of the outdoor industry.  In doing so, he became the first president to specifically refer to the economic figures detailed in our own industry’s Outdoor Recreation Economy Report.

He and his family spent Father’s Day weekend at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and in Yosemite National Park in California to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and to call for a new century of conservation and immediate action to combat climate change.

During the president’s speech, he touted the 265 million acres of land and water that his administration has protected—more than any other U.S. president.  He also recognized outdoor recreation as a significant economic driver, noting that every dollar invested in our public parks generates $10 for local economies, which in turn helps drive our “outdoor industry, [which] supports six million American jobs and almost $650 billion in spending every year. That’s a lot of fleeces and headlamps.”

President Obama also discussed his Every Kid in a Park campaign—of which OIA’s Parks4Kids program is a part—to give every fourth-grader in the United States a free parks pass and meaningful outdoor experiences.

Outdoor Industry Association staff and members have been working closely with the Obama administration on all these initiatives for years. In the week leading up to Obama’s park visits, we worked closely with the White House to build an industry-wide campaign to promote and amplify many of the key messages. These included:

  • Using #ElPrezatElCap to reach and inspire more than 4.6 million social media users. The campaign culminated on Friday night with a “takeover” of the White House Instagram account by professional climbers from The North Face and Adidas Outdoor and our own Katie Boué.

Hey everyone, @KatieBoue here! I’m not quite a professional athlete, but here’s what I am: an American whose passion for public lands was inspired by climbing. I started climbing in the South, and dreamt about witnessing the beauty of Yosemite National Park for years. When I finally stood at the base of El Capitan for the first time, the magnificence of nature prompted me to dedicate my career to getting Americans outdoors. President Obama has protected more than 265 million acres of land and water in our country—without his work to support conservation and recreation, I wouldn’t be able to play in some of the places I love most. Whether you’re a pro athlete, or just an everyday climber like me, the President’s efforts to protect public lands and make them accessible to all Americans is something to celebrate. I am truly honored to see #ElPrezAtElCap this weekend. #NPS100 #FindYourPark

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on


Hi—I’m Jimmy Chin (@Jimmy_Chin), and I’m the last in a series of climbers to take over the @WhiteHouse Instagram today. I’m excited to be heading back to Yosemite National Park, one of my favorite places on the planet, to see President Obama and the First Family tomorrow. It says a lot about the First Family that they’re taking time to appreciate a slice of nature and beauty at @YosemiteNPS, one of the gems within our incredible national park system. Having spent years of my life climbing and adventuring on the walls there, I am deeply thankful for the foresight to protect and preserve such an important and beautiful landscape. This visit from the President will highlight the importance of preserving these wild places for generations to come. #FindYourPark #NPS100 #YosemiteAmbassador Photo: @AlexHonnold walking the walk on Thank God Ledge, Half Dome Northwest Regular Route, Yosemite National Park. A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

#ElPrezatElCap Twitter Board

As exciting as the past few days have been, there is a lot of work in front of us to make sure the outdoor recreation industry is recognized as a driver of healthy communities and healthy economies. We need your help.

Here are a few things you can do to help: