Outdoor Recreation Economy
The outdoor industry generates $646 billion in direct consumer spending, supports 6.1 million direct jobs, and produces $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue each year. However, lawmakers and land agencies have slashed funds for public lands, diminished access, and are instituting policies at the local, state, and federal levels detrimental to recreation lands and waters. OIA is leading the charge to help educate policy makers to support legislation that supports the outdoor industry. Learn more
Outdoor Industry Association is the voice for active outdoor recreation, advancing and influencing policies that will support the growth and success of the outdoor industry, and inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.
2013 Policy Agenda
The outdoor industry envisions a future where outdoor recreation is the leading use of public lands that generates the most financial and public support for the core mission of the governmental agencies responsible for administering those lands. We envision a future where outdoor recreation helps support the communities that surround it by fostering economic development, providing much-needed revenue for basic services and contributing to the quality of life for every citizen.
We see a future where every child lives within ten minutes of a park and one hour of a significant experience in nature at a wildlife refuge, state park, scenic river, backcountry or similar location.
We expect that every child, and every citizen, will have ready access to that park and reasonable amenities to enjoy it.
We see a future where nearly every citizen is a passionate steward of the lands in which they play and their elected representatives are committed to creating a unified, abundant and sustainable outdoor recreation infrastructure for future generations.
We believe America’s national outdoor recreation system is an interlocking system of remote wilderness and local parks, wild rivers and scenic waterways, hiking trails and bicycle paths, coastlines and forest tracts that comprise the essential places where citizens seek an experience of nature, where they play and rediscover their connection to the natural world. This outdoor recreation system is also the foundational infrastructure supporting a diverse industry that generates more than $646 billion in annual direct consumer spending and more than 6 million American jobs. Protecting America’s parks, waters and trails isn’t just about the land; it’s about protecting the economy, the communities and the people whose lives depend on having the ability to play outside.
Access to the great outdoors is facilitated and supported by companies who make quality, sustainable equipment, outerwear and footwear; small businesses that outfit and support outdoor adventures for all Americans; and individuals who drive innovation throughout a global value chain. We believe in a future where companies pursue sustainable and fair business practices and strive to be responsible corporate citizens where doing the right thing is the norm. We envision low trade barriers and foresee a tax structure impacting that industry that is fair and equitable.
In our America, more people of all ages, means, ethnicities and cultures are inspired to get outdoors, become more active and healthier as a result. If we create places to play, we support new generations of families who are happy and healthy. America’s beautiful outdoors is the envy of the world, a magnet for tourism, and a treasure that can never be replaced.
In order to achieve this desired future, OIA recommends the following policy actions:
Objective #1: Support a Vibrant Recreation Economy by Designating America's National Outdoor Recreation System
- Seek a Presidential Executive Order designating America’s National Outdoor Recreation System and authorizing a federal interagency council (e.g. AGO Council, FICOR) to coordinate across responsible federal agencies. emphasize existing authorities identifying recreation as a key federal agency mission and institutionalize key recommendations of the America’s Great Outdoors report.
Objective #2: Improve Recreation Access
- Increase and expand federal funding for all the public lands and waters that comprise America’s National Outdoor Recreation System, leading up to the National Park Centennial in 2016.
- Reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 2015.
- Reinvigorate and fully fund a federal urban parks and community green spaces program.
- Pursue new and diverse revenue sources to augment existing revenues and fully fund America’s National Outdoor Recreation System.
Objective #3: Protect Recreation Destinations
- Seek increased funding to adequately maintain federal lands, waters and existing outdoor recreation assets currently administered by federal agencies.
- Encourage individual states to develop visions that recognize the economic importance of recreationally significant lands and waters and appropriately balance the needs of recreation with competing uses.
- Support efforts for protective public land designations at the national level while ensuring openness, transparency, recreational access and local collaboration in determining land designations.
Objective #4: Ensure a Fair and Predictable Trade and Healthy Business Environment
- Eliminate disproportionately high tariffs on global specialty outdoor products that have no material domestic production.
- Establish a delineation of specialized, innovative performance apparel and other outdoor products from mass consumer goods.
- Promote a fair and equitable tax structure.
- Encourage federal programs and investments to support companies that produce outdoor products in the united States.
Learn more about our Trade and Business Policy.
Learn more about our Outdoor Recreation Policy.