Outdoor Recreation Industry Praises Interior’s Creation of Recreation Advisory Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 7, 2017 – Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced today the creation of a Recreation Advisory Committee to help improve visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters through expanded public-private partnerships. Zinke also hired former Navy SEAL Captain Rick May to serve as recreation czar.
“I look forward to hearing from the best and the brightest in our private sector on how to improve the public experience on our federal lands and waters by expanding access for all Americans,” Zinke said. “We already have thousands of private partners who operate on federal lands. Whether it’s the iconic Jammers in Glacier National Park, the historic El Tovar lodge at the Grand Canyon, or the kayaks that you can rent on the Potomac River, American workers are at the heart of helping American families experience our great outdoors.”
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in economic impact and supports 7.6 million jobs across the country. The creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee – combined with meetings, declarations and events – is an important step in harnessing the might of the outdoor recreation economy and shows the department’s commitment to supporting its continued growth.
“We used to have a Bureau of Recreation – we’re bringing recreation back,” Zinke said. “So I’ve hired a former Navy SEAL captain to evaluate our public lands and look at the recreation opportunities, so the American public can enjoy our lands.”
The committee will offer new opportunities for experienced and committed supporters of the Great Outdoors to collaborate with the secretary and other Interior officials on a range of issues, including expansion of world-class visitor services and infrastructure, skillful management of peak visitation, improving fee collection, incorporating new technologies and much more.
This action is the result of numerous meetings between the Department of the Interior, the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR), of which the MIC is a member, and others. In April, senior officials from the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service met with more than 30 representatives of the outdoor recreation industry at Shenandoah National Park to discuss improving visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters. That meeting was followed by another April gathering where Secretary Zinke told recreation industry leaders he needed creative, bold thinking to help him deliver recreation experiences on Interior lands, overcoming such problems as congestion in areas like Yosemite Valley and unsustainable financial operations of recreation programs.
In July, ORIR presented the secretary and his team with nearly 30 ideas that can provide immediate and dramatic improvement to visitor experiences and reductions in deferred maintenance through private investments. Included on that list are three motorized recreation projects on BLM lands that MIC has volunteered to spearhead in cooperation with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council.
“Creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee is great news for the outdoor recreation industry,” said MIC president and CEO Tim Buche. “We are excited to work with the Department of Interior and Mr. May to address issues facing outdoor recreation, including trail maintenance and expanding access to public lands.”
About Motorcycle Industry Council
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, AIMExpo, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at mic.org.
The Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable is a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations working to promote the policy and legislative reforms needed to grow the outdoor recreation economy. Roundtable members represent the thousands of U.S. businesses that produce vehicles, equipment, gear, apparel and services for the millions of Americans who enjoy our nation’s parks, waterways, byways, trails and outdoor spaces. Combined, the various business sectors within the outdoor recreation industry generate $887 billion-per-year in economic activity and provide an estimated 7.6 million direct jobs. Coalition members produce the eight largest recreation trade-shows in the U.S. and their members annually contribute $40 billion in federal excise tax, sales tax and duties.
Source: Motorcycle Industry Council