Policy Alert: New REC Act Introduced

By Jessica Wahl October 29, 2015

Today is an exciting day for the outdoor recreation industry; we are one step closer to being recognized nationally as a powerful contributor to the U.S. economy thanks to Senator Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Gardner’s (R-CO) introduction of the Recreation’s Economic Contributions (REC) Act. If passed, the REC Act would ensure that outdoor recreation jobs are counted by the federal government and would be measured as part of the overall GDP, for the first time ever.  This is breakthrough legislation for the entire industry and may eventually inform future national recreation policies.

The REC legislation requires the Department of Commerce, in consultation with federal land management agencies, to provide annual statistics of our industry and its contributions to the economy. While OIA’s economic report, which quantified our $646 billion industry that employs 6.1 million Americans and contributes $80 billion to local, state and federal tax revenue will remain relevant, federal statistics in this area will potentially help provide greater influence over federal and local recreation policy and business decisions.

We look forward to working with the government to count the millions  of jobs that depend on outdoor recreation in manufacturing and retailing, travel and tourism, and outdoor activities like hunting and angling, guiding and outfitting.

Our businesses provide jobs and economic benefits in every state across the country, from gateway communities to our national parks to urban areas in our largest cities.  Access to open space and outdoor recreation not only spur consumer spending and create jobs, but they are integral to American communities’ quality of life, helping to attract skilled workers and improve public health.

Please help us get the word out by:

  • Urging your members of Congress to join Senators Shaheen and Gardner on the REC bill.
  • Promote #CountMyJobs by using the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Sign on to the OIA Support Letter with many other recreation businesses and organizations.

Please contact Jessica Wahl if you have questions.