Bend, Ore., October 4, 2013 – The Conservation Alliance urges Congress to come together to end the government shutdown, and re-open the crown jewels of America’s recreation lands. Companies that make and sell products for active use in the outdoors suffer when their customers cannot visit our National Parks, National Monuments, Wildlife Refuges, and other federal lands.
Outdoor recreation generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year, and supports 6.1 million jobs. This economic driver relies on our system of public lands.
“Federal lands are the infrastructure for the outdoor industry,” said Executive Director John Sterling. “Closing our parks, monuments, and refuges is like shutting down the mall on Black Friday.”
Since the government shutdown began on October 1, many news reports have focused on the frustration of tourists being barred from visiting federal lands to see the elk rut in Yellowstone, float the Colorado River through Grand Canyon, or hunt on one of dozens of National Wildlife Refuges.
Fortunately, some states have a good collection of state parks that can absorb visitors stymied by federal facilities. Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah reported a record number of cars on Tuesday, nearly doubling the number of visitors on Memorial Day.
“Americans love their protected public lands,” said Sterling. “Once Congress ends this shutdown, it should get to work passing the many stalled bills that would add lands to our National Wilderness Preservation System.”
About the Conservation Alliance:
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas.
Membership in the Alliance is open to companies representing all aspects of the outdoor industry, including manufacturers, retailers, publishers, mills and sales representatives. The result is a diverse group of businesses whose livelihood depends on protecting our natural environment.
Since its inception in 1989, the Alliance has contributed nearly $13 million to grassroots conservation groups. Alliance funding has helped save more than 41 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,700 miles of rivers; stop or remove 25 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas.
For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com.