Outdoor Companies Back BLM Wild Lands Policy

2 March 2011

Boulder, CO- Citing the need for balance in federal land management and the role public and wild lands play in supporting jobs across the American economy, The Conservation Alliance (Alliance), Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and companies they represent sent a letter to members of the House Natural Resources Committee supporting the Bureau of Land Management’s new wild lands policy.

“Proper management of wilderness-quality lands and congressionally-designated Wilderness signals our national commitment to conservation of our public lands, clean waters, healthy wildlife, and cultural and historical landscapes,” the industry said in backing the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Secretarial Order 3310.

“The outdoor industry depends on a full spectrum of public lands and waters to provide places for our customers to use the products we make and sell. Outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy, and supports nearly 6.5 million jobs across our country. Ensuring that some of our BLM lands are preserved for recreation and habitat is an investment in our economic future and the quality of life in communities,” stated the letter signed by the Alliance, OIA and 19 leading outdoor companies.

“Secretary Salazar's order ensures Western communities have the opportunity to choose a balanced economic approach. Active outdoor recreation generates $289 billion in annual retail sales and supports sustainable, domestic jobs in every American community – rural and urban, said Frank Hugelmeyer, President of OIA. "Jobs vs. conservation is yesterday’s logic. The recreation economy balances boom and bust cycles of extractive industries," Hugelmeyer said.

“Conservation is an investment in the future of the outdoor industry,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “Secretary Salazar’s order requires that the BLM preserve the wilderness characteristics on some of its lands; the same lands where outdoor customers recreate using the products our members make and sell.”