By RV Industry Association Staff
The year-end omnibus appropriations bill, which was signed into law in December, advanced several outdoor recreation industry priorities advocated for by the RV Industry Association’s federal affairs team. The bill was a great investment for the National Park Service and for numerous programs that support parks, forests, campgrounds, and outdoor recreation assets.
Toy Storage Nation note: The resources provided will undoubtedly enhance the experience of RV and boat owners, coast to coast, while ensuring the viability of the RV and boat storage industry.
Millions of dollars in funding were approved for key Great American Outdoors Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund projects. This includes several campground related initiatives, like the rehabilitation of Mount Rainer National Park’s Ohanapecosh Campground. The funds also address deferred maintenance issues plaguing U.S. Forest campgrounds in California, Utah, Oregon, Missouri, and North Dakota. Additionally, tens of millions of dollars are provided to support national park and forest roads and bridges that RVers rely on for access to the great outdoors.
The bill also extends the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which authorizes public lands to retain entrance, campground, and recreation fees to be used to maintain recreational assets. This is a similar protocol to the one used by campgrounds, which are a vital component of the RV industry’s current and future growth.
Along with these initiatives, the bill included investments to bring back 500 new staff, which is the largest operations increase in a decade. It also reauthorized the National Park Foundation and set aside $1.5 billion in disaster relief for parks.
Another outdoor recreation industry initiative included in the bill focuses on visitor services. Funding has been provided to expand recreational fishing and camping. Instruction on introductory recreation experiences in parks will also be provided throughout the year in a variety of recreational activities.
Numbers to know: The bill will support a number of initiatives that boost the outdoor recreation economy:
- Approving millions of dollars in funding for key Great American Outdoors Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund projects.
- Extending the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which authorizes public lands to retain entrance, campground, and recreation fees to be used to maintain recreational assets.
- Including investments to bring back 500 new staff, the largest operations increase in a decade.
- Setting aside $1.5 billion in disaster relief for parks.
- Providing funding to expand recreational fishing and camping.
- Making instructions available on introductory recreation experiences in parks.