House Votes to Measure Outdoor Recreation as Part of GDP

House of Representatives Votes to Count Outdoor Recreation Economy as Part of U.S. GDP

Source: NMMA Currents

In one of its first acts upon returning to Washington post-election, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Outdoor REC Act, a critical bill that quantifies the true size of the outdoor economy, including recreational boating, fishing, RVing and more. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and received bipartisan support, with 13 Republican and 12 Democrat cosponsors. It now moves to the Senate, where it is being led by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), with a total of 15 cosponsors.

The REC Act directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to "conduct an assessment and analysis of the outdoor recreation economy in the United States." The bill aims to formally assess and analyze the outdoor recreation economy in the United States – which supports an estimated 6 million jobs and generates $646 billion in economic activity. A temporary pilot program was enacted by the Secretary of the Interior in April, so Congresses's action was needed to make sure that the outdoor economy received official government recognition for years to come. Federal Agencies play an important role in outdoor recreation, managing lands and waters which host more than a billion recreation visits. The Outdoor REC Act would help shape good choices in allocating federal funds through the budget process and in investing private funds which enhance recreation on public lands and waters.

To read more about the outdoor recreation community's support for this effort, click here.