Heinrich Highlights New Economic Data On Outdoor Recreation, Calls For Inclusion Of Industry In Recovery Efforts

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is highlighting the power of outdoor recreation after a new report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released data that the industry yields $788 billion in economic output, comprises 2.1 percent of U.S. GDP, and supports 5.2 million jobs nationwide.

The BEA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, released their third report that includes national and state level data for 2018 and 2019. According to the report, New Mexico’s outdoor recreation value added a 2.2 percent share increase of the state’s GDP and supported over 35,000 jobs.

“I am confident that the outdoor industry can play a major role in our national recovery. Outdoor recreation can help us solve health and access disparities, employ millions of U.S. workers restoring landscapes and rebuilding infrastructure, connect Americans to their heritage and drive local economies—particularly in rural communities,” Heinrich said.

Senator Heinrich has called on Senate Leadership to include support for outdoor recreation and public land infrastructure jobs in the next COVID-19 relief package. With supply chains stalled, retailers shuttered, parks closed, and trips and travel canceled, the outdoor industry is uniquely impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Heinrich added, “There's no doubt that hospitality, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries will face unique challenges in restoring consumer confidence and recovering business to where it was before the pandemic. But as this data demonstrates, outdoor recreation jobs were a large part of our economy and with reinvestment, the outdoors will continue to provide some of our best opportunities for strong economic growth all across the country.”

Senator Heinrich recently participated in a virtual event with Outdoor Industry Association Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug, where they discussed the Great American Outdoors Act and the future of outdoor recreation. Senator Heinrich also introduced the Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act that would expand national service programs to help address the historic COVID-19 joblessness crisis in New Mexico and nationwide, including establishing a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps.

“I’m fighting to make investments in conservation and our public lands—from implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act to a 21st Century Conservation Corps—part of our plan to rebuild the economy. That’s because confronting the climate crisis, restoring landscapes, and opening up more opportunities in the places where we love to get outside will put millions of Americans back to work and secure a better future for the next generation,” Heinrich concluded.