Outdoor Industry Association® Touts Economic Benefits of Roadless Areas

For Immediate Release

Avery Stonich
Outdoor Industry Association

Boulder, Colorado — May 2, 2012

In response to a final revision to the Colorado Roadless Rule released by the U.S. Forest Service today for managing 4.2 million acres of Colorado’s premier backcountry land, water and wildlife habitat, Outdoor Industry Association™ (OIA) released the following statement:

“In protecting pristine backcountry, roadless areas represent a key element in the public lands and outdoor recreation opportunities that constitute America’s national outdoor recreation system. From the backyard to the backcountry, Americans desire and demand a spectrum of quality, accessible places to get outside, connect with nature and play.

“Our nation’s public lands and roadless areas are the envy of the world, drawing Americans and international tourists who come to camp, fish, hunt, bike, climb, hike, paddle, ski and view wildlife. These lands are the engine behind the $289 billion outdoor industry and 6.5 million jobs nationally.

“Outdoor recreation is a leading economic driver in Colorado, with active outdoor recreation alone supporting 107,000 jobs in communities — urban and rural — across the state and $500 million in annual state tax revenues.

“While the Colorado final revision delineates new ‘upper tier’ protections for 1.2 million acres, it leaves 3 million acres of the state’s roadless lands and waters subject to development and encroachment from utility corridors, energy development and mining.

“Following the 30-day public comment period, the Obama administration should extend upper tier protection on the excepted 3 million acres and make a statement in support of the roles backcountry and wild places play in daily lives and prosperity of the people of Colorado and all Americans.”

About the Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives, and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.