04.19.16

Gardner, Shaheen Applaud Secretary Jewell's Announcement of a Federal Effort to Measure the Impact of Outdoor Recreation Economy

**Gardner and Shaheen introduced legislation requiring a public federal assessment on the economic impact of outdoor recreation**

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) welcomed the announcement by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell this afternoon, that 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. Last year, Shaheen and Gardner introduced the Outdoor REC (Recreation’s Economic Contributions) Act, bipartisan legislation that called for this assessment to help inform policy makers and business leaders on the jobs created, and the consumer spending driven by, the outdoor recreation economy.

“I’m pleased the Department of Commerce is taking steps toward producing an Outdoor Recreation Economic Report, which will provide much-needed insight into the impact recreation has on our economy,” said Gardner. “I’ve been working with Senator Shaheen on the Outdoor REC Act, and this is important to understanding that outdoor recreation is a pillar of economic livelihood  for our local communities in Colorado and across the nation. I look forward to reviewing the report, and am hopeful it will allow lawmakers to make better informed policy decisions related to the outdoor industry.”

“In New Hampshire, outdoor recreation is a critical sector of our economy,” said Shaheen. “It’s long overdue that policy makers had the information they need to properly take into account the impact the outdoor recreation industry has on job creation and economic growth. In the Granite State, we know that preserving our natural treasures isn’t just good for the environment; it’s also a smart move for our economy, and today’s announcement will help lawmakers and businesses better understand that across the nation.” 

Currently, the federal government, through research conducted at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), doesn’t measure the economic impact of outdoor recreation, despite independent estimates that this sector generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year and supports 6.1 million jobs. The effort announced today will highlight the importance of outdoor recreation as a distinct component of the economy, and better inform lawmakers as they consider policies that will impact the outdoor recreation industry. 

###