b'Q&A CONVERSATIONS BY RICK KESSLERORRs Wahl on Earning a Spot at the WCM: It sounds as if, in a relativelyshortamountoftime,ORRhasbeengranted a seat at the table, so to speak. table, Modernizing NPS Campgrounds Jessica Wahl:Yes, I would say so. Its ac-tually been fascinating for me becauseIvebeeninthis(outdoorrecreation)world for a while now, and you just dontBased on the level of stepped down after successfully integrating the ORR get six member meetings in one day onaccess its earning with with the American Recreation Coalition (ARC). the busiest day on the Hill. We had tokey legislators and fed- And then we had a full day of Capitol Hill meet- meet the senators in their little hideawayseral department agen- ings, Wahl continued, adding that ORR members becausetheywereinbetweenvotes.ciesincludinga met with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Martin They sometimes were leaving a vote andcoming back to spend time with us, butpresentation by the U.S. Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. all meetings were at least a half an hourDepartment of Labor at Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), as well as Rep. Rob Bishop (R- of these members time on one of theits Dec. 3 board meeting Utah), the ranking member of the Natural Resources busiest days of the year and during oneinWashingtonD.C. Committee in the House of Representatives. of the busiest seasons.Its a testament to when you bringthe Outdoor Recreation We also met with the U.S. Forest Service, talking these groups together and you say, Hey,Roundtable (ORR) in a with their leadership about partnerships and camp- I have the diving industry and the RV in-relativelyshortperiod ground modernization, Wahl said. So, all in all, it dustry and the boating industry and theof time has successfully was a really successful week. ORR made a huge im- biking industry in town, and they all wantgained the coveted spot at the table. pact both on just continuing to drive the economic Congressman John Curtis (R-Utah) addressesORR members from 39 associations representing a impact of the outdoor recreation economy, putting an ORR gathering.combined 100,000 outdoor recreation businesses at- faces with names with senior leaders in Congress,tended the meeting, during which Labor Department and then moving the needle in Forest Service discus-Assistant Secretary for Policy Jonathan Wolfson out- sions around how we can be helpful and just ensurelined the importance of the outdoor recreation work- that customers and visitors have the best access pos-forceandhowtheDOLcanhelpthrough sible to our public lands.apprenticeship and training programs. In addition, In other action, ORR welcomed two new agenciesWolfson discussed compliance issues and how out- to its member roster, including the Diving Equipmentdoor recreation trade associations and their member and Marketing Association (DEMA) and the Recre-businesses can better serve its employees with regard ational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), as to meet with you. And we all have a cou-to healthcare, retirement and other benefits. well as celebrating the retirement of several board ple of key agenda items that we agree on.It was great to have the Department of Labor members,including ThomDammrichoftheNa- And no one even questioned whetherspend some time with us. It was a really good addi- tional Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), this should be a member-level meeting.Everyone saw us that we requested meet-tion to the work that weve been talking about over whose role as ORR board chairman was filled by Phil ings with. Thats just a huge testament tothe past year, said ORR Executive Director Jessica Ingrassia, president of the National RV Dealers Asso- this group and the growing importanceWahl, the former Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) ciation (RVDA). of collaboration in the outdoor recreationexecutive who directed the groups outdoor recre- Wahl spoke with Woodalls Campground Manage- sector.ation portfolio in Washington D.C. She joined ORR ment (WCM) about several initiatives and issues, the WCM: How would you recap the yearfrom a federal legislative perspective? about a year ago, succeeding Derrick Crandall, who edited transcript of which follows. Wahl: We ended the year with eightrecreation hearings. Thats a record. Wevehadyearswheretherehavebeennohearings on recreation, or we are part ofanother hearing, or maybe theres a recre-ation witness in a hearing on wildlife or ahearingonenergy.Butwehadeightrecreation hearings in the House and theSenate, and we ended the year strong ongetting two priority legislationstheLand and Water Conservation Fund andthe Restore Our Parks Actout of theHouse and the Senate.Similarly,wehadotherbillslikeRecreation Not Red Tapeget hearingsin both chambers. We also had a smallbusiness committee hearing dedicatedjust to issues in the outdoor recreationspace. Thats pretty noteworthy becausethats a whole committee thats not in ourjurisdiction and one we usually dontwork with.I do think that is all because of thesegroups coming together this year andwhats been built over the past couple ofyears. Its not a coincidence that we hadprobably the most impactful year on theHill with hearings, with some of thembeingeducationalandsomeofthembased on legislation. Its important for ushaving,throughORR,acollaborativeplacetoeducatemembersandthen,throughourmemberslikeRVIAandRVDA, a place where they can advocatefor legislation.WCM: So, lets talk about campgroundmodernization.Therewasareport Q&A Conversationscontinued on page 3614 -February 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'