The past month has been an exciting time for the Outdoor Industry. A year after its original introduction, the Outdoor Recreation Act has officially become a real thing to celebrate. Through unified support of Democratic and Republican parties, the bill was just recently signed into law by President Obama as of December 8, 2016.
For those unfamiliar with what our excitement here is sparked from: The Outdoor Recreation Act will now ensure that the outdoor recreation economy is legitimized by the federal government as a contributing factor to economic growth and now more than ever as an acknowledged voice for environmental awareness.
Earlier this week, we were honored to welcome United States Senator, Jeanne Shaheen (NH), to the NEMO headquarters to spend some time and discuss the backbone of this new law.
“We are proud to be based in New Hampshire because of the unique combination of resources for outdoor recreation and for small business,” said Cam Brensinger, Founder and CEO of NEMO Equipment, “We are lucky to have a leader in Congress like Senator Shaheen, who supports companies like ours and recognizes that outdoor recreation is no longer a nice to have, but a need to have for New Hampshire and local economies across the country.”
Until recently, the federal government did not measure the economic impact of outdoor recreation, despite independent estimates that this sector generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year and supports 6.1 million jobs.
As a founding force behind this law, Senator Shaheen’s first hand perspective brought a new excitement to the reality of this positive movement in our country.
As Senator Shaheen mentioned during her tour of our Dover, NH office space: “One of the things that I have learned over the years is that often, people may not support the outdoors because it’s the right thing to do, but if you can put a dollar sign attached to it, then you can help build support in that way.”
Through bringing this information into the spotlight, showing on paper the value that the outdoor industry has on our country’s economy, and on top of that making the information accessible, hopes are that the new Outdoor REC Act will grow support and funding for other outdoor programs be a gateway to future environmental acts.
“Until this legislation, we hadn’t really tracked the economic impact of the outdoor economy,” Shaheen said. “We divided up tourism and some other resource aspects of the outdoor economy, but haven’t really put it together. So this law requires that that be done and hopefully allow us to have a much better idea of what the real impact is.”
“One of the exciting things about the recent passage of the Outdoor Recreation Act,” said Brensinger, “is that it passed with unanimous consent in Congress, and that shows that outdoor recreation is a place where bipartisan wins can happen. The health benefits and enjoyment that come from outdoor recreation appeals to all Americans across income levels, gender, ethnic backgrounds and political leanings. Appreciating the outdoors is in our DNA as humans and in our history as Americans and we’re deeply grateful for Senator Shaheen’s consistent support of these issues.”
For an inside look at Senator Shaheen’s visit to NEMO, scroll on…
Words by Samantha Strong / Photos by William Kramer
With special thanks to our sources…
Office of Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), SGB Online, Fosters Daily Democrat