LIVE: SNEWS is at OIA's Capitol Summit

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Photo: Wikimedia commons

Photo: Wikimedia commons

April 27, 2016 8:01 a.m. Eastern

This year, OIA awarded President Barack Obama with its Friend of the Industry Award for his work on outdoor recreation since he took office. 

Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council of Environmental Quality, accepted the award Tuesday night on his behalf. 

"For too long, this sector was undervalued," Goldfuss said. She praised Sec. Sally Jewell's initiative last week to count outdoor recreation jobs as part of the nation's GDP. It will show how important the industry is to the economy, she said, and those jobs deserve to be counted. 

The industry contributes $646 billion to the economy, which Goldfuss said is "more than drilling, mining and logging combined, and it's sustainable."

Counting outdoor recreation in the GDP will result in government data that can be used year after year to show how important - and powerful - this industry is. 

"You will have the platform to do more, and be more influential, than you are today," Goldfuss said. 

April 26, 2016 4:08 p.m. Eastern

Earlier today, Conservation Alliance members were briefed on the bills up for debate that could permanently and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. We were trained on how to discuss the issues with Congress, and there was an emphasis on the importance of simply saying thank you – our representatives won’t know conservation is important to us if we don’t make a point to let them know, especially since there are forces on the other side who don’t see conservation as an important issue to funnel money to.

Last week, Executive Director John Sterling urged people to call their representatives, especially if they can’t make it to lobbying days like this one.

April 26, 2016 3:30 p.m. Eastern

WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, the Outdoor Industry Association, the Conservation Alliance and the Outdoor Alliance are here in Washington, D.C., where members are being trained to lobby Congress on issues important to the industry.

SNEWS is here, too, and we’ll be lobbying Colorado lawmakers tomorrow with a team of other Coloradans. Today, we’re attending a training session with other members of OIA to learn about the issues important to your business.

Follow along as we keep a live blog here, updated with the background info you need to know to call your own representatives to tell them what’s important to you.

First up: The Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP, which could be implemented within the next three years, would eliminate disproportionately high tariffs on importing outdoor goods to the United States. While the average tariff on imported goods is less than 3 percent, OIA says, duties on outdoor products average 14 percent and some are as high as 40.

In some cases, those tariffs could be eliminated on the day TPP is implemented. Backpacks, for example, face tariffs of up to 20 percent. But the day TPP takes effect, that would go down to nothing.

Follow Kassondra Cloos on Twitter @kassondracloos for more updates about Capitol Summit.

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