Outdoor Recreation Groups Are Speaking up for Better Funding


Outdoor Recreation Groups Are Speaking up for Better Funding

The number of visitors to America’s public lands has steadily increased over the last 15 years, while over the same time period, funding for recreation has decreased more than 20 percent at agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, according to data released this week by Outdoor Alliance, a non-profit working to protect public lands and waters…

Led by Outdoor Alliance, 34 outdoor recreation organizations and businesses have called on lawmakers to fully fund recreation budgets at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). They have asked Congress to fund BLM’s Recreation Resources Management program at $100 million and the Forest Service’s Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness at $70 million, with additional funding for staffing — increases that will return these agencies to more sustainable funding levels from Congress in the past.

Nationally, outdoor recreation contributed $1.1 trillion to America’s economy in 2022, accounting for 2.2% of GDP. Recreation on BLM lands contributed $11.1 billion to the economy and 73,000 jobs in 2022 while spending by visitors to national forests and grasslands contributes about $13.7 billion to the US economy and sustains about 161,000 full-and part-time jobs.

Read the full report at Outdoor Alliance.