ORR Led by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), outdoor recreation businesses and associations are calling on Congress to enact legacy legislation for the great outdoors by passing a first-of-its-kind recreation package. According to a statement from ORR, there are dozens of bipartisan, bicameral bills that don’t cost taxpayers money and make common sense updates or reforms in order to help outdoor businesses continue to create jobs, grow local economies and improve land and water management, helping all people enjoy the outdoors in their communities or on our iconic public lands system across the country.

With the introduction of The Outdoor Recreation Act, now is the time to gear our recreation policies up for the 21st century as visitation and demand for outdoor recreation are increasing in every corner of the U.S. In addition to The Outdoor Recreation Act, ORR has been pushing for a recreation package to include the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act, the Ski Hill Resources for Economic Development (SHRED) Act, the Modernizing Access to Public Land Act (MAPLand Act) and the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act (RNR), among other bipartisan and pragmatic outdoor recreation legislation.

“Across the nation, we see outdoor recreation bolstering local communities’ economies, employing millions of Americans and contributing to the physical and mental health of Americans before, during and eventually after the pandemic,” said Jessica (Wahl) Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “We need these common-sense bills to help get more people outside, while protecting our natural resources now and for generations to come. These bills, if passed, will ensure the outdoor recreation industry can keep doing what we do best – contribute to healthy people, places, economies, and communities.

Jessica Turner

Jessica Turner

Turner continued, “Other industry sectors of similar size have packages all the time, and the outdoor recreation industry needs to be the same. The bills we are asking for in this package don’t cost taxpayers anything – they are simply better tools and streamlined policies for agencies to help get more Americans better access to the outdoors.”

Click here or see below to read ORR’s letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso: 

On behalf of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, we wanted to strongly encourage your committee to advance an Outdoor Recreation Package that includes the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act, the Ski Hill Resources for Economic Development (SHRED) Act, the Modernizing Access to Public Land Act (MAPLand Act), among other bipartisan and pragmatic outdoor recreation legislation. The industry is feeling a sense of urgency behind moving these important bills that would help manage already existing conserved lands and waters in order to support businesses recovering from COVID-19 and now impacted by wildfires and drought, ensure better access to the outdoors for all Americans, mitigate the impacts of climate change and ever-increasing visitation in some areas on the outdoor experience and create jobs by supporting rural economies and communities. 

ORR is the nation’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations – made up of 34 national members — as well as other nonprofit organizations and business entities — serving more than 110,000 businesses. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis released last year, the recreation industry generated $788 billion in economic output, accounted for 2.1 percent of GDP and 5.2 million American jobs, and was growing faster than the economy in every indicator. ORR member organizations appreciate your bipartisan commitment to advancing important outdoor recreation policy that provides greater opportunity for everyone to access the outdoors while also strengthening the outdoor recreation economy. 

The SOAR Act will help streamline the permitting process on public lands, which would be a significant help to guides and outfitters that have been burdened by a complex, costly, and duplicative permitting process that too often does not authorize new permits. The SOAR Act also eliminates unnecessary duplication through inter-agency coordination and encourages land managers to account for recreation in planning efforts. Additionally, streamlining permitting processes through the SOAR Act will provide targeted relief to these small businesses suffering greatly from necessary COVID-19 restrictions, and need of additional assistance due to record wildfires and drought affecting much of the country. 

The SHRED Act will ensure that a portion of ski area permitting fees collected on U.S. Forest Service lands will be used for local infrastructure improvements instead of simply sending these fees to the Treasury. This legislation will help make needed investments in our National 

Forests and will significantly benefit outdoor recreation and local economies as seasonal recreation timeframes become less consistent due to the impacts of snowfall and drought. 

The MAPLand Act will benefit outdoor recreation by providing federal land management agencies with funding to digitize mapping information making access to public lands easier while ensuring that people exploring the outdoors are better informed and have updated information on access and regulations, including data on areas that might be impacted by fire, drought or flooding. 

These bipartisan bills modernize antiquated systems within the federal government that have created unnecessary barriers to accessing the outdoors. Additionally, they provide relief for small businesses and communities attempting to rebound from COVID-19 while dealing with seasons of severe wildfires, flooding and drought. Combining SOAR, SHRED, and MAPLand, (as well as other bills like full funding for the Recreational Trails Program and additional interpretive services and real-time data to help with overcrowding and visitation), into a first-ever Recreation Package would move our federal land management agencies into the twenty-first century, support rural and urban economies, provide relief for businesses hit by COVID and climate impacts, and help new and diverse users identify, protect, and access recreation opportunities on our shared public lands and waters. This would truly be a legacy achievement for the committee and the recreation economy across the country. 

We greatly appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to working with you to advance a Recreation Package through the legislative process. 


America Outdoors
American Horse Council
American Mountain Guides Association
American Sportfishing Association
Archery Trade Association
Association of Marina Industries
CHM Government Services
International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association Marine Retailers Association of the Americas Motorcycle Industry Council
National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds National Forest Recreation Association
National Marine Manufacturers Association
National Park Hospitality Association
National RV Dealers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
Outdoor Industry Association
Professional TrailBuilders Association
Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association
RV Industry Association
Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals 
Specialty Equipment Market Association Specialty Vehicle Institute of America Sports
Fitness Industry Association The Corps Network