Outdoor Industry Association Thanks Congress for Approving Major Funding Increase for Public Lands BOULDER, CO (November 2, 2009) –Congress has approved a 17 percent increase in total funding over last year’s level for the Department of the Interior (DOI) which manages a vast majority of the nation’s public lands. The final bill (H.R. 2996,
http://www.outdoorindustry.org/pdf/ConferenceReportDOI2010.pdf) designates over $32 billion to the DOI, an increase in $4.66 billion compared to last year. Notable victories for the outdoor recreation community include invigorated funding levels for the federal and stateside Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as well as authorization and support for the FLAME Act which is aimed at managing the escalating costs of wildfire.
Systematically underfunded in the past, the LWCF received revived attention from lawmakers this year. The conference committee approved $265.3 million for federal LWCF, a figure that exceeds last year’s funding level by $100 million. The committee has designated $40 million to stateside LWCF, twice the amount specified in last year’s appropriations.
The bill also creates the FLAME Fund which sets aside resources for fire suppression emergencies to avoid drawing from non-fire operations such as the budgets that fund campgrounds and trails. The conference report allots $474 million to the fund for FY2010, $61 million of which will go to the Bureau of Land Management and $413 million will be allotted to the Forest Service.
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) appreciates the leadership that congressional members have shown for outdoor recreation and land stewardship throughout the appropriations process. “The vast majority of outdoor recreation occurs on our magnificent public lands and in order for the recreation economy to continue to grow as well as for Americans to enjoy the health and spiritual benefits of outdoor recreation, we as a nation must invest in the management of these wonderful resources. This budget reflects that priority,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA.
Here is a brief list of additional highlights from the spending bill:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Management Planning program will receive nearly $50 million this year, a $2 million increase over last year and slightly below the $52.5 million recommended by OIA.
• The BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System will receive a nearly $8 million increase over last year’s funding, just shy of the OIA recommendation.
• The National Park Service’s (NPS) operating budget was approved at $130 million more than last year’s level, exceeding the OIA recommendation of a $100 million increase.
• The committee approved the NPS’s Centennial Initiative for $15 million, $10 million below both the House request and the OIA recommendation.
• The Forest Service’s Recreation, Heritage & Wilderness program was approved for $285 million which is a $7.5 million increase over last year.
• The committee allotted $85.4 million for the Forest Service Trails program which is a $4.4 million increase over last year. The final version of the spending bill will go to President Obama for his signature. Click here (http://www.outdoorindustry.org/pdf/ConferenceReportDOI2010.pdf) to be directed to the full text of the conference committee report.
About Outdoor Industry Association Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous®, Outdoor University® and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information, visit http://www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.