Secretary Zinke announces Made in America Recreation Advisory Committee

Department of Interior aims to promote public-private partnerships on public lands.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced his intent to create a new advisory committee to focus on expanding public-private partnerships on America’s public lands. The July 18 announcement was made at an event featuring members of Indiana’s Congressional delegation and representatives from America’s outdoor recreation industry,

Zinke hosted a roundtable meeting focusing on leveraging public-private partnerships in order to improve visitor experiences on public lands and waters, while also helping to reduce the Department’s maintenance backlog.

Public-private partnerships are already employed extensively across the National Park Service and other agencies, from managing campgrounds and restaurant management to providing kayak and RV rentals.

Members of the outdoor industry presented a variety of proposals to the Interior, including:

  • Expanding Wi-Fi connectivity in parks
  • Upgrading visitor accommodations
  • Expanding visitor services
  • Outdoor recreation is vital to the economic and physical well-being of America and its citizens. According to industry analysis, the outdoor recreation industry generates $887 billion in direct spending and supports 7.6 million jobs across all 50 states.

“Not everyone can get to the backcountry and sleep in a hammock tethered to a rock wall. We need to encourage families and folks of all interest levels to enjoy our parks and other outdoor areas, making our land accessible to them,” Zinke said. “We have wonderful partners who proudly make their outdoor products in America. We can leverage these partners to help address the maintenance backlog on things like boat ramps, RV hookups, campgrounds, and cafeterias as long as the government is a willing collaborator.”

Government officials and outdoor recreation industry leaders representing the following organizations participated in the events:

Sec. of the Interior Ryan Zinke
Sen. Todd Young – IN
Rep. Jackie Walorski – IN 2nd District
Rep. Jim Banks – IN 3rd District
Todd Willens, Acting Assistant Sec. Fish and Wildlife and Parks
Mike Reynolds, Acting Director of the National Park Service
Greg Sheehan, Acting Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
John Ruhs, Acting Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management
Doug Domenech, Senior Adviser to the Secretary

Julie Broadway – President – American Horse Council
Derrick Crandall – President – American Recreation Coalition
Jay McAninch – CEO & President – Archery Trade Association
Kirk La – Chairman & CEO – BoatU.S
Terry MacRae – CEO – Hornblower Cruises
Edward Klim – President – International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association
Tim Buche – President & CEO – Motorcycle Industry Council
Phil Ingrassia – President – Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association
Frank Hugelmeyer – President – Recreation Vehicle Industry Association
KC Walsh – CEO – Simms Fishing in Bozeman, MT & American Sportfishing Association
Tim Rout – CEO – AccessParks
Thomas Dammrich – President – National Marine Manufacturers Association
Duane Taylor – Exec Director – National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council

Department of Interior photo

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