The 2010 Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) Friend of the Outdoor Industry Awards will be presented to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE) in recognition for their leadership in support of the active outdoor recreation industry. The awards will be presented during the annual Outdoor Industry Association Capitol Summit in Washington, DC on April 21.
“Senator Bingaman, Congressman Blumenauer and Congressman Castle have been leaders in ensuring that government policies impacting public lands and the outdoor industry supply chain support the growth of the outdoor recreation economy and our industry,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president & CEO of OIA. “We are deeply appreciative of their efforts.”
Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources where he oversees our nation’s public lands and is the leader in developing and driving the environmental, energy and land use policies that impact those lands.
In 2009, Senator Bingaman wrote many provisions of and shepherded through Congress the largest public lands preservation bill in at least a decade. The Omnibus Public Land Management Act included 160 separate measures affecting public lands, including permanent protection for the National Landscape Conservation System which comprises many of our nation’s iconic desert landscapes. The Public Land Management Act created 2.2 million acres of Wilderness, designated three new national parks, added several national trails, designated more than 1,000 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, and established 10 National Heritage Areas. The 15 different proposals for new or expanded Wilderness areas were the largest expansion of the National Wilderness Preservation System since 1994.
Sen. Bingaman introduced and passed the FLAME Act, which for the first time sets up a separate fire suppression account for the Forest Service to allow that agency to have access to a dedicated fund to cover frequent yearly overruns in firefighting costs. This account will stop the annual pilfering of recreation and trails accounts for firefighting dollars, thus enabling these projects to move forward on a timely and predicable path.
This year during the Capitol Summit, OIA will be seeking to build support in Congress for two new measures that have been introduced by Sen. Bingaman. The first bill (S. 1933) establishes a Natural Resources Adaptation Fund to mitigate the impacts of climate change on our natural resources. The second bill (S. 2747) establishes full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These two items represent a major piece of the OIA recreation policy agenda for 2010.
“I’d like to thank Outdoor Industry Association for this award. In scenic New Mexico and throughout the West, there are tremendous opportunities for tourism and outdoor businesses to grow. Small businesses are the foundation for our nation’s economic prosperity, and maintaining and protecting our public lands will help them prosper,” Bingaman said.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and previously served on the House Transportation Committee. Rep. Blumenauer has established himself as the foremost leader in the House of Representatives on active forms of transportation.
Congressman Blumenauer is the lead sponsor of one of the top OIA legislative priorities, the U.S. OUTDOOR Act, a bill that promotes lower costs for outdoor companies and their customers while investing back in U.S.-based organizations that are focused on sustainable, environmentally friendly practices in the textile and apparel supply chain.
In addition, Congressman Blumenauer has introduced legislation that will help communities improve active forms of transportation such as walking and biking. During the Capitol Summit, OIA will be seeking support for Rep. Blumenauer’s Active Community Transportation (ACT) Act of 2010. The bill provides funding to communities that are prepared to provide healthier, cost-effective, more environmentally friendly transportation options by establishing a $2 billion competitive grant program within the Department of Transportation. The grants will provide funding for communities to create active transportation networks that provide safe and convenient access for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Congressman Blumenauer has also been active in preserving wild places. As part of the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act, he included a provision to designate 127,000 acres of new Wilderness and almost 80 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers on and around Mt. Hood. In addition, Rep. Blumenauer strongly supports the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, and has cosponsored the Roadless Area Conservation Act, which would codify the rule into law.
“I'd like to thank the Outdoor Industry Association for this recognition," said Congressman Blumenauer. "Providing Americans access to the outdoors and encouraging recreation is the best way to create happier, healthier communities. Over the past twelve years in Congress, I’ve worked to improve livability and protect the environment, so that future generations can enjoy biking, hiking, running and walking. I have introduced legislation to make outdoor recreation and apparel more accessible, from the OUTDOOR Act to the ACT Act, and I remain committed to helping Americans get outside and enjoy our natural spaces.”
Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE) is Delaware’s At-Large representative in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a candidate for the state’s open seat in the U.S. Senate. Representative Castle led the effort to transform the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal into a recreational area for biking, hiking, fishing, and running. Castle is a sponsor of several OIA trade priorities, including co-sponsor of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act, which will reduce tariffs on performance outerwear and advance research into sustainable manufacturing.
"I appreciate this recognition from the Outdoor Industry Association and appreciate all they have done to encourage innovation and growth in this industry," said Rep. Castle. "With increasing sprawl and development, protecting open space and promoting outdoor recreational areas are more important than ever, as seen in the transformation of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal into a multipurpose recreation trail.”
The Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award is presented annually to members of Congress and administration officials in recognition for their leadership in support of the active outdoor recreation industry.
Past recipients of the Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award include:
2009: Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
2008: Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), Representative Mark Udall (D-CO)
2007: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO)
2006: Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO)
2005: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
2004: Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY)
2003: Representative David Obey (D-WI), Representative Nancy Johnson (R-CT)
2002: Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA)
2001: Representative George Miller (D-CA), Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
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 go to www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353. ###