WASHINGTON — Today, Friday, May 15 at 12:15 p.m. MT/2:15 p.m. ET, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) will join outdoor recreation industry leaders, small business owners, and professional outdoor athletes for a press teleconference about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the outdoor recreation industry and how Congress can provide relief to the industry, while expanding access to the outdoors by passing the Great American Outdoors Act, which includes full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
In March, Heinrich helped lead a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Great American Outdoors Act to fully and permanently fund the LWCF and address the national parks maintenance backlog. The bill includes a measure championed by Senator Heinrich to extend funding to address maintenance backlogs at all four public lands agencies and the Bureau of Indian Education.
WHEN: Friday, March 15 at 12:15 p.m. MT / 2:15 p.m. ET
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM); Ashley Korenblat, Managing Director of Public Land Solutions and Owner of Western Spirit Cycling; Lori Buck, Pro Tem Mayor of Fruita, CO; Alex Honnold, Professional Climber and Founder of the Honnold Foundation; Bryan Curran, Owner of Outspokin’ Bicycles in South Carolina; Amy Roberts, Senior Director, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility at The North Face; and Callie Hoyt, Federal Government Relations Director, National Marine Manufacturers Association.
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With supply chains stalled, retailers shuttered, parks closed, and trips and travel canceled, the $778 billion outdoor industry is uniquely impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Studies have shown that while America’s outdoor recreation economy normally supports over 7.6 million jobs and contributes over $887 billion in annual economic output, 79 percent of outdoor businesses have had to lay off or furlough employees, and that 89 percent are seeing decreased revenue.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the full and permanent funding for LWCF and the Great American Outdoors Act received bipartisan support and President Trump’s approval. The legislation would fully fund the popular conservation program investing in public lands across the country—improving access points, expanding trails and services, and creating new parks and outdoor green spaces—at no cost to U.S. taxpayers.