LEGISLATIVE AND TECHNICAL AFFAIRS
By SEMA Government Affairs Staff
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Touts Expanded Recreation Opportunities
Outdoor Recreation Coalition Making a Difference
SEMA member Tom Brooks, president of Truckin Thunder, with his son T.C. and their ’16 Jeep Wrangler in front of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke intends to create a Recreation Advisory Committee to help expand public/private partnerships on America’s public lands. The announcement was made in conjunction with a meeting in July at the U.S. Department of the Interior with Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) representatives, federal lawmakers and high-ranking officials.
The ORIR is comprised of 17 industry associations, including SEMA, representing off-roading, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, archery and other sports. Combined, the outdoor recreation industry generates $887 billion per year in economic activity and provides an estimated 7.6 million direct jobs. The ORIR’s primary mission is to spotlight the economic value of outdoor recreation and pursue federal policy reforms for rebuilding and expanding the nation’s recreation-related infrastructure.
SEMA members Tom Brooks and his son T.C. with Truckin Thunder participated in an outdoor display of “Made in America” recreation products. Secretary Zinke stopped by to inquire about their ’16 Jeep Wrangler, which has been outfitted with a multitude of performance and styling aftermarket parts. Truckin Thunder is a family-owned business that specializes in the sale, installation and service of towing and hauling accessories for both personal-use trucks and commercial fleets.
“The ORIR’s mission is to help the government take advantage of private sector innovations and business savvy,” said Brooks, president of Truckin Thunder. “As custodian of federal lands and infrastructure, the government can unleash potential economic benefits when it partners with the outdoor recreation industry. Visitor satisfaction will be the end result.”
At the meeting and outdoor display, roundtable participants gave specific examples on how public/private partnerships can enhance the outdoor recreation experience and positively impact the economy. That includes reducing a multi-billion-dollar maintenance backlog, modernizing campsites and extending service hours and seasons. Public/private partnerships are already utilized by the National Park Service and other agencies for activities such as managing campgrounds, marinas and restaurants.