Happy New Year from Outdoor Industry Association!
To the new members of Congress and to the many on Capitol Hill who are already familiar with the outdoor recreation industry and support our vibrant economy, we welcome you to the 112th Congress.
I hope many of you were able to get outside to ski, hike, paddle, fish or hunt and enjoy America’s great outdoors following the November elections and the busy final weeks of 2010.
During the holidays, many of us return home to spend time in the places where we grew up and with family and friends who helped us create many youthful memories. It’s an opportunity to hike and ski on lands that have been preserved across generations or to bike on a trail that runs through town. These places support an active outdoor recreation economy that contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. gross domestic product and supports 6.5 million jobs. The vast majority of this powerful economic activity takes place on public lands managed by the federal and state governments, making the voice for recreation in the public policy process essential for our customers and our industry.
Our industry makes the footwear, apparel and gear that make it possible and comfortable for people to get outside and recreate. Cold, wind, sun, snow, rain, breathtaking landscapes and hard-earned summits are part of our customers’ experiences and as a result, the outdoor industry produces some of the most innovative products in the world. OIA seeks to lower costs for outdoor businesses and their customers, to support American jobs and to ensure continued product innovations that are critical to the outdoor industry’s viability, while reflecting the industry values of social and environmental responsibility.
We look forward to working with you in 2011 to support efforts such as the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, strong funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and manufacturing innovation through the US OUTDOOR Act. In addition, our industry is leading a private sector initiative called the Eco Index to ensure we do our part as private businesses to manufacture products with sustainability top of mind.
We look forward to working with you. Best wishes as Congress gets underway.
The Outdoor Industry Association Government Affairs Team
Amy Roberts, Alex Boian, Craig Mackey, David Weinstein and Beth Jensen