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Outdoor Industry Association Applauds Senate Hearing on Climate Change Impact on Outdoor Economy

March 21, 2024

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Chris Denny / Denny, ink. / 435-655-1609 /

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) commends the Senate Budget Committee for its recent hearing, “Recreation at Risk: The Nature of Climate Costs,” which spotlighted the profound effects of climate change on the outdoor economy. The hearing, held on March 20, 2024, brought together esteemed witnesses, including Theresa McKenney, Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs at NEMO Equipment, a proud member of OIA and Chair of OIA’s Recreation Advisory Council. 

“Our drive to address climate change at NEMO comes from a combination of moral and practical concerns,” McKenney said in her testimony. “We do not only look to government to solve the monumental challenge of climate change; businesses like ours that manufacture goods are significant contributors to the problem and we are ready to take responsibility for our part. Within our company, we call this work a crucial part of our overall “business sustainability” versus simply “sustainability” priorities. We do not believe there is a future for businesses like ours without taking responsibility for our impacts on the planet, both because our consumers are increasingly demanding these efforts and because the natural places where backpacking and camping take place are being threatened.” 

Other witnesses included Hilary Hutcheson, a fly fishing guide and outfitter; Gus Schumacher, a World Champion nordic skier and Olympian; Dr. Joao Gomes, Senior Vice Dean Of Research, Centers, And Academic Initiatives at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and Scott Walter, President of the Capital Research Center. 

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) President Kent Ebersole today released the following statement reflecting on the significance of the hearing: 

“The outdoors is a place of recreation and rejuvenation for millions of Americans, and the industry represents a substantial economic force. We are grateful to the Senate Budget Committee for recognizing the pivotal role of the outdoor industry and its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. As stewards of our nation’s natural resources, we have a responsibility to protect the places where we play and the businesses that rely on them. We look forward to continuing to engage with Congress on strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure a sustainable future for outdoor recreation.” 

OIA stands ready to collaborate with policymakers, stakeholders, and industry partners to address the challenges posed by climate change and safeguard the outdoor spaces that are integral to our way of life. A recording of the hearing and witness testimony can be found on the Senate Budget Committee’s website. 


About Outdoor Industry Association   

Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is a catalyst for meaningful change. A member-based collective, OIA is a passionate group of business leaders, climate experts, policy makers, and outdoor enthusiasts committed to sustainable economic growth and climate positivity while protecting – and growing access to – the benefits of the outdoors for everyone. For more than 30 years, OIA has catalyzed a thriving outdoor industry by supporting the success of every member company across four critically aligned areas: market research, sustainability, government affairs, and inclusive participation. OIA delivers success for its members through education, events, and business services in the form of solutions and strategies, consultation, collaboration, and opportunities for collective action. For more information, visit