WASHINGTON, D.C. – The outdoor recreation economy directly contributes $887 billion in consumer spending annually and employs over 7.6 million Americans according to a new report released today by the Outdoor Industry Association. Given the outdoor industry’s significant economic impact, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is co-chairing the bipartisan Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus, along with U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), to promote policies that invest in the outdoor industry and to ensure it continues to grow and thrive.
"New Mexicans' livelihoods are rooted in our open spaces. Our public lands are where locals and visitors alike go to find the biggest elk, the best camping spot, challenging single track, or the most remote fishing hole. Outdoor traditions both new and old are not only part of a healthy lifestyle but also fuel our local economy and create much needed jobs--especially in rural communities,” said Sen. Heinrich. "I’m proud to co-chair the Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus to show that conservation and growing the outdoor recreation economy are inextricably linked. I remain deeply committed to standing with New Mexicans and all Americans to protect our public lands, watersheds, and wildlife for our children and all future generations to enjoy."
According to the report released today by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation is among our nation's largest economic sectors, representing the lifeblood of thousands of American communities and providing livelihoods for millions of American workers. The $887 billion in annual consumer spending drives the outdoor recreation economy that directly supports 7.6 million American jobs and generates $124.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. New state-specific data will be released in June, but in 2012, the outdoor recreation economy in New Mexico generated 68,000 direct jobs, $6.1 billion in consumer spending, $1.7 billion in wages and salaries, and $458 million in state and local tax revenue.
On Thursday, Senator Heinrich will be a featured speaker at the 2017 Outdoor Recreation Economy and the Prosperous Communities Initiative Forum hosted by the Outdoor Industry Association, Public Land Solutions, and The North Face in Washington, D.C. The event will bring together business leaders and elected officials from across the country to discuss the newly released economic data as well as on-the-ground best practices for using access to trails, rivers, and other natural attractions to promote conservation and economic development.