ORR Members Attend White House Conservation in Action Summit, Touting Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Wins
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) members participated in the White House Conservation in Action Summit held at the U.S. Department of the Interior to highlight the importance of conservation to recreation by bringing together a panel of industry leaders as part of the day’s events.
Today’s event highlighted the myriad Biden Administration conservation-related efforts like the Inflation Reduction Act’s investment in forest health, outdoor infrastructure, and ecosystem and habitat restoration. Healthy and resilient parks, forests and waters directly help to support the $862 billion outdoor recreation economy.
ORR gathered leaders from the business, nonprofit, and federal sectors to discuss what has been accomplished by coming together and how much more there is to do.
Today’s event made it abundantly clear that as more and more Americans participate in the outdoors for physical and mental health – and contribute to our nation’s economy while doing so – work must continue to increase access, improve outdoor infrastructure, and combat climate change through public lands and water conservation. The outdoor recreation industry accepts this challenge and will continue to work with leaders in D.C. and across the nation to conserve lands and waters and improve outdoor access for all.
ORR members Frank Hugelmeyer (President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and ORR Board Chair), Taldi Harrison (Head of Government Affairs at REI), and Mary Ellen Sprenkel (President and CEO of The Corps Network), as well as Hispanic Access Foundation President and CEO Maite Arce spoke on a panel with Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning.
“Today’s panel discussion underscored why it’s foundational to make outdoor recreation activities, including boating and fishing, accessible for all. Ensuring responsible access to our cherished public lands and waters is essential to sustaining the nation’s growing outdoor recreation economy. Outdoor recreation brings together families, enhances the health of Americans and inspires millions to be better stewards of the great outdoors,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Board Chair. “We’re grateful to the Biden administration for supporting and prioritizing our shared goal of increasing access to the outdoors. Today’s announcement, including over $20 million in boating infrastructure grants and new actions to conserve, restore, and expand access to our nation’s lands and waters will strengthen the recreational boating economy, the number one driver of the $862 billion outdoor recreation economy.”
“I am honored to join my colleagues from Outdoor Recreation Roundtable today at the White House Conservation Summit,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “I want to thank our great partners at the Department of the Interior for hosting us and participating in today’s event. I also want to thank President Biden for his commitment to the young adults of our country by working to establish a Civilian Climate Corps. The Civilian Climate Corps will create good jobs and train America’s young people for critical conservation careers. It will engage Americans in making our parks and outdoor recreation accessible to all. These past several years have shown just how important access to the outdoors is for everyone in our country, no matter where they live.”
“The Biden Administration has made equity a cornerstone of its conservation and climate action plans, with a goal of ensuring that everyone has access to the benefits of public lands, waters, and oceans, regardless of their race, income, or background,” said Maite Arce, President and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “Our collective work is critical if we hope to balance access to outdoor recreation with conservation, climate, and stewardship priorities while addressing historical and ongoing inequities in access to these benefits.”