U.S. Senate Committee Approves Funding for Critical Economic Impact Study

Last week, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) – the leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and organizations and chaired by NMMA’s President, Thom Dammrich – commended the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for including funding for the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) in its Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice, and Science bill. Lawmakers set funding for ORSA at $1.5 million, meeting the funding levels necessary to survey the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry in the coming fiscal year.

“We are grateful to Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran and Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen for including this critically important funding,” said Thom Dammrich. “The outdoor recreation industry has long known the significant impact we have on the overall U.S. economy, but it wasn’t until BEA released its findings earlier this year that our impact was formally recognized by the government. Funding ORSA for FY2019 will ensure that we can build on the progress made in 2018 by studying the industry’s economic impact at the national and regional levels and demonstrating that outdoor recreation deserves to be a national priority.”

The BEA, which is the government body responsible for calculating U.S. GDP, launched ORSA in 2017 to complement its overall statistical analysis by providing detailed insights into the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry. The industry had previously not been included in U.S. GDP calculations despite years of calls to do so by industry leaders.

In February, ORSA released its highly-anticipated initial statistical findings on the outdoor recreation industry, showing the sector makes up 2 percent of U.S. GDP and accounts for $673 billion in annual gross domestic output. This impact exceeds that of key U.S. industries such as farming and computer manufacturing. In addition, ORSA found the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.8 percent in 2016, outpacing the 2.8 percent growth of the overall U.S. economy during the same period.

For more information, please contact NMMA Senior Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org or NMMA Director of Federal Affairs, Lance West at lwest@nmma.org.