House approves bipartisan Gardner bill to assess economic impact of outdoor recreation

Cory Gardner

The House of Representatives has approved bipartisan legislation that U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced to gauge the impact of outdoor recreation on the U.S. economy.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced in April that the Federal Recreation Council and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis would collaborate on the first-ever economic assessment of the outdoor recreation industry.

The Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act, which Gardner introduced with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), would codify outdoor recreation economic assessments going forward.

“The House’s approval of the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act represents a step forward toward ensuring that the outdoor recreation industry’s impact on the economy is measured,” Gardner, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said. “This is important not only to states like Colorado, but to communities throughout the country who also know outdoor recreation as a way of life.”

Although the federal government has never undertaken an assessment of the economic impact of outdoor recreation, it is estimated that the sector generates $646 billion in consumer spending annually and supports 6.1 million jobs.

“My bill will highlight the industry’s economic benefit and allow policymakers to make more informed decisions, and I look forward to continue working with Sen. Shaheen to further advance this legislation,” Gardner said.