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WTAS: The Introduction of H.R. 3458 the Recreation Not Red Tape Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2019 -

Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah) of the House Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) today introduced legislation in the Senate and House to remove barriers to outdoor recreation and boost rural economies across the country.


What They are Saying about H.R. 3458 the Recreation Not Red Tape Act


“Americans are busy and the barriers to getting outside to relax, recharge and recreate seem to pile up on a daily basis – and when we fail to get outdoors our mental and physical health suffers. OIA is proud to support Senator Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Ernst’s (R-IA) Recreation Not Red Tape Act which encourages outdoor participation by streamlining government processes and funding — including online permitting and recreation pass applications, prioritizing outdoor programs for our veterans and enhancing the use of volunteers for maintenance and stewardship. The bill would also allow Congress to help identify and protect important areas through a system of National Recreation Areas managed specifically for their recreation, health and economic benefits. This smart legislation will not only help get more people outdoors but it will bolster the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy and help create good American jobs.”
– Patricia Rojas-Ungar, vice president of government affairs for the Outdoor Industry Association


“Outdoor recreation is a major force in the nation’s economy, contributing $734 billion in output and supporting 4.5 million jobs. As our industry grows in popularity and economic impact, federal agencies need updated tools to provide sustainable and improved access to, and infrastructure on, America’s public lands and waters. The Recreation Not Red-Tape Act offers sensible, 21st century proposals for identifying and appropriately managing our unparalleled outdoor recreation assets now and into the future.”
– Jessica Wahl, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable


“America Outdoors appreciates the inclusion of SOAR in Recreation Not Red Tape and the bipartisan support that Senator Wyden and Representative Bishop have given to improving recreation access and the efficiency of recreation permitting programs on public lands.  America Outdoors is proud to be a principal in the broad coalition of recreation groups supporting this much-needed legislation.”
Julie Kahlfeldt, executive director of America Outdoors


“The Recreation Not Red-Tape Act makes invaluable contributions toward creating and protecting quality outdoor recreation experiences for everyone. From ensuring that priority landscapes for outdoor recreation are protected, to reducing hurdles for permitting and making land managers accountable for recreation objectives, RNR will help to ensure recreation and conservation are prioritized by federal land managers. The outdoor recreation community greatly appreciates the efforts of Sen. Wyden and Rep. Bishop to lead this bipartisan charge.”
Louis Geltman, policy director of Outdoor Alliance


“It’s exciting to see this bipartisan Bill being reintroduced and moving forward. This bill will make simple, modern, and online access to permits and passes a reality, and will help our agencies find ways to prioritize outdoor recreation at both the local and national level. We know without a doubt that growing the outdoor recreation economy means increasing the number of shared experiences in the outdoors for all people, it’s about access and inclusivity. And we know that when people spend time outside learning and growing with others that it improves their mental & physical health, their interest in lifelong learning, and it helps us build a bond of care with our nation’s public lands and waters. Altogether, this bill brings together decades of thinking and work around how we can improve access and get the next generation outside, to spur economic growth in this new and exciting industry, and to help to revitalize our rural economies.”
Lee Davis, executive director at Oregon State University


“With the Recreation Not Red Tape Act, Senator Wyden and Congressman Bishop further prove our public lands unite American’s from both sides of the political aisle. This bipartisan legislation elevates the importance of public lands at a critical time by both ensuring priority landscapes are protected for their outdoor recreation values, and reducing hurdles for American’s to access them. The more people that have opportunities to responsibly enjoy our public lands, the more people are inspired to preserve and protect them. We view the Recreation Not Red Tape Act as an important conservation tool.”
John Sterling, executive director of The Conservation Alliance


“We applaud Senator Wyden's vision to ease access to the outdoors and to help enhance economies throughout the country. Outdoor recreation is not only good for our health, it's also a vital part of a healthy tourism economy. Senator Wyden recognizes the important role outdoor recreation plays in the nation’s economy and job creation in largely rural areas. Nationally, travel and tourism  generates $2.5 trillion in economic output and supports 15.7 million jobs, with $12.3 billion and more than 115,000 jobs in Oregon alone.”
Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon


“The Recreation Not Red Tape Act will provide significant benefits to those who love to get out and enjoy America’s public lands and waters. Agencies like the Forest Service will conduct more comprehensive inventories of recreation during planning efforts. Those managers who take steps to improve the quality and sustainability of recreational opportunities on public lands and waters will be recognized and encouraged for their efforts.”
Thomas O’Keefe, stewardship director of American Whitewater Pacific Northwest


“The Mazamas has a 125-year history of outdoor recreation and conservation of our treasured landscapes. We are thrilled that Recreation Not Red Tape will make it easier to access our public lands by improving the permitting process, and will create more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors by directing agencies to emphasize recreation. We appreciate that Senator Wyden recognizes the growing interest in outdoor activities, and the resultant need to facilitate and expand access on our public lands, particularly in places like Oregon where 53% of the land is in Federal ownership.”
Sarah Bradham acting executive director of Mazamas


“Twenty-five million Americans go RVing each year and many of their adventures lead them to our public lands and waters. The Recreation Not Red-Tape Act will improve the experiences of these RVers by making recreation a priority on federal lands, improving recreational access and removing unnecessary barriers so all Americans can enjoy outdoor recreation experiences. Of particular importance to RVers, this bill tasks federal land agencies to develop management plans for extending the recreation season or increasing recreation use in a sustainable manner during the offseason. This provision will help address federal campground overcrowding threatening the growth of the $114 billion RV industry, which drives economic growth in the surrounding local communities and economies.”
Jay Landers, vice president of government affairs for RV Industry Association


“The Recreation Not Red Tape Act will ensure that land managers prioritize recreational access so motorcyclists can continue to enjoy our federal lands. According to recent government studies, outdoor recreation accounts for more than two percent of GDP and supports jobs in every state across the country. This legislation will ensure that our members’ recreational access is a priority.”
Tim Buche, president of Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC)


“We know how important outdoor recreation is to our economy and we also know how important access to public lands is to millions of Americans. If enacted, the Recreation Not Red Tape Act would remove barriers for volunteer participation and make it easier for managers to provide all sorts of recreational opportunities while benefiting off-highway enthusiasts and our nation’s economy.”
Erik Pritchard, president of Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA)


“The Recreation Not Red Tape Act is critical for our outdoor enthusiasts in the powersports industry and it will ensure that ATV riders will continue to have access to federal lands for responsible riding activities. We welcome the bill’s introduction and look forward to working on its passage.”
Scott Schloegel, senior vice president of government affairs for Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA)


“Forward-thinking policy like the RNR Act has the ability to protect our public lands and mountain biking opportunities. This bill recognizes the transformative value of flexible land protection designations like National Recreation Areas, the benefits of including ‘recreation’ in the missions of more land management agencies, and how expanding seasonal recreation can strengthen local economies. These initiatives will lead to more protection for our cherished public lands as well as opportunities for great trails, from close-to-home rides to iconic, backcountry experiences.”
Dave Wiens, executive director of International Mountain Biking Association


“Led by boating and fishing, outdoor recreation is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. economy, and the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act will ensure this significant economic force continues to thrive. We thank Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) for teaming up on commonsense legislation that would slash barriers to outdoor recreation access of all types and call on every member of Congress to support this bipartisan legislation.”
Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of government and legal affairs of National Marine Manufacturers Association


“The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) welcomes the reintroduction of the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act.  This legislation will give lawmakers and land management agencies valuable tools to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.  Access to outdoor recreation will be enhanced, which will in turn produce significant economic benefits.”
Daniel Ingber, managing director of government and legal affairs Specialty Equipment Market Association


“Working to expand access to fishing opportunities on public lands is a top priority of the American Sportfishing Association, which is why we support the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act. Recreational fishing is enjoyed by nearly 50 million Americans each year, and much of this activity takes place on federal lands. This bipartisan legislation makes a wide range of improvements to federal land policy that will ultimately help encourage more folks to enjoy the great American tradition of recreational fishing.”
Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs American Sportfishing Association


“We want people to know how easy and enjoyable it is to explore our public lands by bike, and the RNR Act accomplishes that by unifying the management and promotion of national recreation areas. When access for biking and outdoor recreation improves, everyone wins.”
Jenn Dice, vice president for PeopleForBikes – Business Network


“Senator Wyden’s Recreation Not Red-Tape Act recognizes the need to modernize the Federal permitting process that stifles public access to our lands. Prioritizing recreation on public lands promotes sustainable use of our country’s greatest assets, and protects these lands for future generations of hunters and anglers.”
Bob Rees, executive director of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders


“Senator Wyden listened to challenges outfitters and guides face on public lands in Oregon and drafted this important legislation that prioritizes recreation. There are many things in this act that help us grow Oregon’s booming recreation economy. The RNR Act creates a system of National Recreation Areas that conserving lands important for recreation. This new tool will help protect lands currently used for recreation and help create new recreation opportunities for both Oregonians and visitors to Oregon.”
Zachary Collier, owner of  Northwest Rafting Company  


“The Recreation-Not-Red-Tape Act improves access to our public lands and strengthens partnerships that help get Americans outside. This bipartisan bill is an important step toward making sure that outdoor recreation is always considered a primary use of our public lands.”
Erik Murdock, policy director of Access Fund


“KEEN is based in Portland, Oregon and is proud to be a part of the strong outdoor industry in our state, and we are fortunate to have Senator Wyden as a champion for our industry. The Recreation Not Red Tape Act highlights the importance of outdoor recreation not just for our business but, more importantly, for the health of our communities. KEEN employees and fans spend countless hours outdoors biking, fishing, hiking, and paddling, and the Recreation Not Red Tape Act will give them even more opportunities to live their lives in a monumental way.”
Erik Burbank general manager for outdoor, lifestyle, and kids for KEEN Footwear 

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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