In an early holiday gift to the outdoor recreation community, the U.S. Senate unanimously and without amendment passed the Outdoor REC Act (H.R. 4665)! The bill was led by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) with a total of 15 cosponsors. The bill unanimously passed the House November 14, where it was sponsored by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and received bipartisan support, with 13 Republican and 12 Democrat cosponsors.
The bill will formally assess and analyze the outdoor recreation economy in the United States – which supports an estimated 6 million jobs and generates $646 billion in economic activity annually. Congress’ action is necessary to make sure the outdoor economy receives official government recognition for years to come. Federal agencies play an important role in outdoor recreation, managing lands and waters which host more than a billion recreation visits each year. The Outdoor REC Act will help shape good choices in allocating federal funds through the budget process and in investing private funds which enhance recreation on public lands and waters.
The bill now moves to the President’s desk, where it awaits his signature.