Secretary Jewell Announces Federal Government to Count Outdoor Recreation Economy

This week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the federal government will launch an initiative to measure and quantify the outdoor industry’s impact on the U.S. economy. This is the first time the federal government will be quantifying the outdoor recreation sector in its jobs and economic impact report, and that’s an incredible win for our outdoor recreational industries including boating.
Currently, the U.S. government counts other sectors -- like oil and gas, ranching, manufacturing, travel and tourism and the arts -- but until today's announcement, it had yet to include outdoor recreation as a part of Gross Domestic Product reports. With Secretary Jewell’s announcement today of a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Commerce to create a national Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) and a commitment of initial funding for this work, the federal government clearly understands that the outdoor industry and the outdoor recreation economy are not simply "nice to haves," but are "must haves" to support healthy communities and healthy economies across the United States.
Today's announcement also adds urgency to legislation pending in Congress that would make ORSA permanent. The Recreation’s Economic Contributions Act in the Senate and the Outdoor "REC" Act in the House were introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), respectively. This bipartisan legislation is the central focus of next week's OIA Capitol Summit, and passage of it is one of our highest priorities this year.
The following unified statement of support was made today by two of ARC’s top leaders, Thom Dammrich, President,
National Marine Manufacturers Association and Frank Hugelmeyer, President, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association:

We applaud Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s announcement of plans to proceed with Phase One in the creation of a national Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) under an agreement between the Federal Recreation Council and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The nation’s public lands and waters play an essential role for the recreation industry and the American public.  Virtually all Americans participate in some form of outdoor activity at these places.  This activity results in an estimated $650 billion in annual expenditures on RVs and boats, lift tickets and entrance fees, fishing and hunting licenses and surfboards, campground fees and OHVs – and much more.  Expenditures on recreation create manufacturing jobs, jobs in retailing and repairs, lifeguard posts at public beaches and guide jobs in the backcountry, jobs at insurance firms and hotels.  Federal agencies host more than a billion recreation visits.  ORSA is vital to making good choices in allocating federal funds through the budget process and in investing private funds which enhance recreation on public lands and waters. 

We now call upon the Congress to fully and sustainably fund the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account through the FY17 budget. Congressional action recently created and funded an Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account and a Travel and Tourism Satellite Account.