America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA) passed out of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources via unanimous consent this week, a testament to its bipartisan appeal and transformative impact on recreation access. AORA is a first-of-its-kind recreation package that will boost local and national economies and provide more Americans — especially those in underserved areas — greater access to green spaces and public lands and waters while not costing taxpayers a dime to implement.
The outdoor recreation industry contributes $862 billion dollars to the national economy, makes up nearly 2% of national GDP and generates 4.5 million jobs according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is a huge economic driver for both rural and urban communities in every corner of the country, underscoring the importance of adequate infrastructure funding and improved access to recreation opportunities across communities.
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act would:
- enable permit streamlining to ease burdens on outfitters and guides and improve access to outdoor experiences;
- improve access to recreation on public lands and waters;
- ensure access to green spaces in underserved communities;
- update outdoor recreation infrastructure;
- develop, improve, and complete long range trails;
- and invest in rural economic development.
“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act will bolster outdoor recreation access and opportunities for the millions of Americans who continue to discover the benefits of the great outdoors and time spent on our nation’s lands and waters,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “We thank Senators Manchin and Barrasso for their bipartisan leadership in advancing this critical bill and urge Congress to swiftly consider and pass the bill in the weeks to come.”
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the nation’s leading trade association representing boat, marine engine and accessory manufacturers. Collectively, NMMA members manufacture an estimated 80 percent of marine products used in North America. NMMA is a unifying force and powerful voice for the recreational boating industry, working to strengthen and grow boating and protect the interests of its member companies.