President, Governors Tout Economic Benefits of Great Outdoors in Proclamations

President, Governors Tout Economic Benefits of Great Outdoors in Proclamations

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

June 20, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) - The President and nearly every governor have declared June 2012 as Great Outdoors Month. Proclamations began in the 1990’s and have now become traditions although the messages have varied. The proclamations are unique, but certain themes are pervasive and in 2012, the economic importance of recreation is the key emerging theme.

President Obama also highlighted the importance of outdoor recreation in his proclamation of Great Outdoors Month, saying:

“Protecting our environment is not only a duty to our children; it is an economic imperative. Visitors to our public lands contribute billions of dollars to local economies, and I am committed to supporting this engine of growth. As part of our National Travel and Tourism Strategy, my Administration is working to increase visits to our national parks and scenic places. This initiative will help support small businesses and drive job growth across our country.”

A politically and geographically diverse group of governors used their Great Outdoors Month proclamations as an opportunity to emphasize the role outdoor recreation plays in supporting jobs and the economy. Fifteen governors stressed that outdoor recreation and the great outdoors are vital to the economic well-being of their states. Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) noted, “Making efforts to be active outdoors boosts economic growth in our state.” Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) wrote, “Outdoor recreation is a vital and sustainable pillar of Colorado’s economy and a powerful magnet for attracting visitors from across North America and the world.” And Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) noted the role of the Outdoor Recreation Subgroup of his Governor’s Commission on Jobs and Economic Development as being “tasked with finding ways to promote and enhance our outdoor recreation and tourism inventory.”

Governors who cited the role outdoor recreation plays in supporting the economy are: Sean Parnell (R-AK), Jan Brewer (R-AZ), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Nathan Deal (R-GA), Steve Beshear (D-KY), Rick Snyder (R-MI), Brian Sandoval (R-NV), Bev Perdue (D-NC), John Kasich (R-OH), John Kitzhaber (D-OR), Tom Corbett (R-PA), Lincoln Chafee (I-RI), Nikki Haley (R-SC), Peter Shumlin (D-VT), and Bob McDonnell (R-VA).

More than 40 proclamations emphasize the role outdoor recreation plays in mental and physical health. Support for conservation efforts is referenced in 37 of the documents, and the importance of the outdoors for kids and families is mentioned in 22. Volunteerism is praised in 19 – and virtually all urge people to go out and enjoy the Great Outdoors!

The Great Outdoors Month proclamations were requested by leading national recreation organizations, many of whom sponsor key recreation-related events and activities during the month. These events include: National Trails Day®, National Fishing and Boating Week, the Great American Backyard Campout, Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day, Great Outdoors Week, and National Get Outdoors Day.

Copies of the proclamations can be viewed and downloaded here.