Gardner’s Outdoor Recreation Bill Approved by Commerce Committee

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A big win for outdoor recreation and industry: The government is one step closer to counting outdoor industry jobs and revenue towards the US GDP.

 Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), co-author with Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) of the Outdoor REC Act Photo: Courtesy

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), co-author with Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) of the Outdoor REC Act Photo: Courtesy

On June 29, the Commerce Committee approved Senator Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act, a bipartisan bill introduced with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

Should it pass, the legislation would, for the first time, inform policymakers and business leaders on the jobs created and the consumer spending driven by the outdoor recreation economy.

The federal government has never measured outdoor recreation’s impact on the nation’s economy despite estimations that this sector generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year and supports 6.1 million jobs.

 Luis Benitez, Director of Colorado’s Office of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Photo: Courtesy

Luis Benitez, Director of Colorado’s Office of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Photo: Courtesy

“The Outdoor Recreation Bill validates the fact that the outdoor industry is an incredibly strong economic engine for the United States,” said Luis Benitez, the Director of Colorado’s Office of the Outdoor Recreation Industry. “That validation amplifies the belief in what the Outdoor Recreation Economy is capable of and has potential to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

The Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act is supported by over 60 organizations and businesses, including the Outdoor Industry Association and the U.S. Travel Association.

In April, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the Federal Recreation Council will work with the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis to assess the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry.

Before this announcement, the federal government had never measured outdoor recreation’s impact on the nation’s economy despite estimations that this sector generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year and supports 6.1 million jobs.

Gardner’s legislation will ensure this assessment is codified. The Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act is supported by over 60 organizations and businesses, including the Outdoor Industry Association and the U.S. Travel Association.

"I’m pleased the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved my legislation, which will allow federal, state, and local policymakers to better understand the economic impact outdoor recreation has on our economy,” Gardner said in a statement issued by his office.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

(202) 224-5941

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