Policy Watch

Outdoor recreation has become a major economic driver in nationwide, especially in rural areas. Visits to national parks, forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and national heritage sites generate billions of dollars in consumer spending and support more than six million jobs annually – see this month’s Info to Know blurb for more on the Outdoor Recreation Economy.

But recreation opportunities aren’t always easily accessible. Getting outdoors often requires permits, parking passes and camping fees that are important to help maintain public lands, but too often involve confusing, complicated and lengthy processes.

The Recreation Not Red Tape Act removes barriers to outdoor recreation, making it easier for more Americans to get outdoors; enjoying its benefits and generating jobs.

On April 18, 2018, the House Natural Resources Committee approved the Recreation Not Red Tape Act (HR 3400), which was introduced in July 2017 by Chairman Bishop to increase access to public lands and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Recreation Not Red Tape Act would, among other things:

  1. Streamline recreational permitting processes, for outfitters and guides,
  2. Directs federal agencies to promote new recreation opportunities and recreation-based jobs in land and water management decisions, report on recreation jobs, and develop creative partnerships in order to extend recreation seasons.
  3. Encourages collaboration between federal agencies and the private sector to support volunteer maintenance of public lands, such as trail maintenance

ASA looks forward to this impressive bipartisan legislation seeing floor time in the House soon.

For more information, please contact Vice President of Government Affairs, Scott Gudes.