ICYMI: What’s Happening Around the Industry

Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy outdoorsy headlines. We’ve combed the social networks and scoured the news outlets to curate some of the most relevant and most intriguing stories out there. Read. Enjoy. Share.

March 22, 2017

March 16—21, 2017

Southern Hospitality for Georgia Forests

Did you know that Georgia ranks 5th in the nation for consumer spending on outdoor recreation, according to OIA’s Outdoor Recreation Economy Report? In fact, $23.3 billion annually is spent on outdoor recreation in Georgia, which generates more than $1 billion in state and local tax revenue. Did you also know that Georgia only has one national forest? Whoa. All those facts combined with Southern outdoorists’ reverence of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest—a hotspot for hiking, fishing, and hunting–led to the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Adjustment Act (S. 561, H.R. 1434). The legislation is designed to support recreation by “creating a more cohesive park boundary.” So what does that mean? Selling 30 small, disconnected parcels of land, and using the funds to purchase property more critical to recreation and conservation efforts. This bill underscores the value of states’ local recreation assets. Keep an eye out for the third edition of OIA’s 2017 Outdoor Recreation Economy Report later this spring.

Bridging Michigan’s Adventure Gap

The numbers don’t lie: There’s a big gap between minority and low-income Americans and the great outdoors. According to an Outdoor Foundation survey analyzing a large spectrum of outdoor activities, “people ages 6 and up who participated in outdoor activities were 74 percent Caucasian, 9 percent African-American, 8 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian, and 3 percent other.” In Michigan, outdoor organizations like Outdoors Empowered Network, U-M Outdoor Adventures and Detroit Inspiring Connections Outdoors are rallying to change those statistics. By providing budding outdoorists with introductory guided trips, free gear libraries, and improved local recreational spaces, Michigan is stepping up to bring the benefits of nature to everyone. The outdoors continues to creep back into city spaces, and we support the green invasion.

Put This on Your Reading List: Marketing to Outdoor Moms

If our ConsumerVue research taught us anything, it’s that in our industry, your most valuable audience could be hiking right under your nose. Case in point: outdoor moms. Spawn Ideas advertising agency profiled five outdoorist mothers to explore their purchasing decisions, their outdoor experiences, and even how to most effectively market to each mom persona. From Instagram to your own website content, there are plenty of opportunities to tap into the outdoorist mom market and to integrate it into your social media strategy.

What’s Your Workplace Experience?

Camber Outdoors is conducting a comprehensive survey of individuals who work in the active-outdoor industries. They’re looking for responses from both women and men and your feedback is very important to them. They tell us the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete and, as a thank you for your time, everyone who completes this survey will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a trip for two down the Lower Salmon River from Camber Outdoors partner OARS (valued at $2,446).  Your responses will be kept strictly confidential. Your answers will be combined with hundreds of other responses and will not be traceable back to you.  Findings from the study will be released starting in Q3 of 2017.

2.0 Gets 86ed

BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule will soon die by pen stroke. ICYMI: Planning 2.0 gave everyone from outdoorists to ranchers a voice on the front end of BLM land management decision-making. H.J. Res. 44, legislation that rolls back 2.0, passed the Senate on March 7 and is now on its way to the president’s desk. Still don’t know what it all means? Men’s Journal took a deep dive into how Congress is rolling back input on public lands.

Bishop Wants Your Tax Dollars for WHAT?

We’ll give it to you straight: Representative Rob Bishop (UT-01) wants Congress to foot a $50 million bill for the costs of federal land seizures. In other words, he wants to use your tax dollars for the public lands heist.

“Taken as a whole, Bishop’s wish list distills into a single document the anti-conservation narrative that has come to dominate our national dialogue. For decades, far-right organizations like the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Property and Environment Research Center—many of them associated with the political network of the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch—have relentlessly crafted, publicized, and promoted the story that the federal lands are broken and in disrepair, that that they are mismanaged and neglected, and that they are tyrannical to boot.”

Oregon’s Outdoor Industry Is Running for Office

If you live or play in Oregon, you ought to add House Bill 3350 to your list of things to call your representatives about. The state is pushing to get its own office of outdoor recreation, like Utah, Colorado and Washington already have, with the creation of a state Office of Outdoor Recreation. Oregon’s current budget “crunch” may be challenging for the supporters of the new state office, but offices of outdoor recreation have already proven to be successful in states that have them. California, Montana and New Mexico are also currently seeking to create similar offices. This is great news for the outdoor industry–we’re rooting for outdoor recreation offices in all 50 states.

Want more from the industry? Check out last week’s ICYMI and tweet us with your finds for the top outdoor stories for next week’s edition.