NMMA backs bill that would ease recreational access

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National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich joined two members of outdoor recreation groups to write an editorial in The Hill supporting a bill that opens possibilities for public-private partnerships on federal lands and seeks to make visiting public spaces easier.

Dammrich joined with Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, and Adam Cramer, executive director of the Outdoor Alliance, to support the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act, the NMMA said in its Currents newsletter.

The purpose of the bill (H.R. 3400), introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, in the House and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in the Senate (S. 1633), is “to promote innovative approaches to outdoor recreation on federal land and to open up opportunities for collaboration with non-federal partners, and for other purposes.”

Dammrich, Roberts and Cramer wrote in The Hill that the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act, or RNR, reduces barriers to outdoor recreational access and improves public land management for Americans who enjoy recreational pursuits of all types.

“Public lands offer many exceptional opportunities for outdoor recreation, but too often unique or exceptional settings for outdoor recreation are not formally recognized in land use planning,” they wrote. “This legislation, including its system of National Recreation Areas, will identify and protect landscapes where sustainable outdoor recreation should be a priority use for jobs, local economies and quality of life.”

If enacted, the biggest changes would come for those buying permits or paying entrance fees to national forests, national parks and federal recreation sites, The Oregonian reported. Visitors to federal lands would be able to pay for all passes and permits online, the bill said, or buy them where and when they buy state recreation passes.