Outdoor Industry to Press Congress to Fully Support Land and Water Conservation Fund
To date more than 85 companies have signed on to letter
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is pleased to announce that more than 85 companies have signed on to a letter urging Members of Congress to support full, dedicated funding and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The letter will be sent on September 3, 2014 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the day the LWCF Act was signed into law. Signers include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, outfitters and guides, small family businesses, entrepreneurial start-ups and international companies who rely on America’s public lands and waters for the success of their businesses.
LWCF was signed into law by President Johnson on September 3, 1964, to protect and provide recreational access to our nation’s irreplaceable outdoor spaces. Under the Act, a small portion of federal lease royalties from natural resource extraction in our nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are to be invested in conservation and outdoor recreation.
These investments in our shared outdoor heritage – from backyards to the backcountry – are essential to outdoor companies, our consumers, and the health and vitality of urban and rural communities and do not come from tax payer dollars. Yet, since its inception, every year except for one, LWCF has had a majority of its funds diverted to other, unrelated purposes despite the fact that recent bipartisan polling shows that 85 percent of American voters want and expect the nation to continue to invest in LWCF.
The outdoor industry generates $646 billion annually in direct consumer spending, contributes $80 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes, and supports more than six million American jobs. To maintain the growth of this burgeoning industry, our businesses depend on access to the nation’s public lands and waters and improved infrastructure surrounding these special places.
For 50 years, LWCF has been the key tool to do that, from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Utah, Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, Gauley River National Recreation Area in West Virginia and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
“Full and dedicated funding for LWCF will enable communities across the nation to continue to invest in the outdoor economy, creating local jobs. The outdoor industry, and the 140 million Americans who participate in outdoor recreation each year, depend on LWCF for a healthy environment, a healthy high quality of life and access to outdoor recreation,” said Roger Spatz, President of Eagle Creek, the sponsor of the OIA Industry Breakfast at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
“People in Utah recognize the value of outdoor recreation. Our industry, which employs 122,000 Utahns and contributes $12 billion in direct consumer spending for the state, regards the 50th anniversary of LWCF as an historic opportunity for Congress to take measures to insure its full funding at $900 million annually.” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of OIA.
There is still time to sign on! OIA encourages any outdoor company who has not already signed the letter to contact OIA’s Recreation Policy Advisor, Jessica Wahl at Jwahl@outdoorindustry.org and sign on.
OIA is also encouraging industry representatives to meet with their local congressional representatives over the August recess to urge them to vote for LWCF reauthorization and full funding for recreation in their communities and across the country.
A special thanks to the Conservation Alliance for partnering on this initiative.
Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association 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, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.
The current list of companies who have signed the letter include:
Benchmade Knife Company
California Canoe & Kayak
Clif Bar & Company
ECCO USA, Inc.
Grassroots Outdoors Alliance
Northwest Rafting Company
Pachner & Associates, LLC
Perpetual Motion NW
Pinnacle Outdoor Group
Revolution House Media
Rising Tide Associates
SCARPA North America, Inc.
Schoeller Textil USA
The Corps Network
The Forest Group
The Mountain Lab
The North Face
Toad & Co.
Under Solen Media
Verde Brand Communications
Western River Expeditions
Wild Places, LLC
Wild Things, LLC
Wilderness Press and Menasha Ridge Press