Tuesday, November 29, 2016

U.S. Senate Approves Outdoor REC Act

The U.S. Senate passed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act November 28, moving the bill to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law before the end of the year. The bipartisan bill, passed by the U.S. House on November 14, would direct the federal government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to “assess and analyze the outdoor recreation economy of the United States and the effects attributable to it on the overall U.S. economy.” In layman’s terms, the government would shine a greater spotlight on economic effects of the estimated $646 billion outdoor industry. In conducting its assessment, the BEA “may consider employment, sales, contributions to travel and tourism and other appropriate contributing components of the outdoor recreation economy,” officials said. “The bill’s passage is groundbreaking for thousands of outdoor businesses across the country, and for anyone who hikes, bikes, hunts, skis, snowmobiles, paddles, boats, surfs, or climbs,” said officials with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), who lobbied for the bill. “These activities, and others, will likely be quantified by the federal government with data published in an annual report on their economic impacts. We expect that report to be public by the end of 2018, certifying outdoor recreation as officially recognized as a sector of the economy.”...more

Congress just rewarded a group and its members who support wilderness, monuments and other such designations and oppose land transfers to the states.

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