The National Marine Manufacturers Association and other recreation industry leaders told the 2016 conference of the National Association of State Park Directors last week that the value of recreation is better understood today than ever and that the diversity and quality of recreational offerings are better than they have ever been.
The NMMA said David Dickerson, its vice president of state government relations, highlighted the advocacy the trade group provides to boaters and outlined the regulatory and legislative issues the industry is facing.
Also addressing the conference in French Lick, Ind., were American Recreation Coalition president Derrick Crandall and RV Dealers Association president Phil Ingrassia.
Describing recreation in the United States as being at a crossroads, the leaders told conferees that the American outdoors has cleaner water and air and more protected places than ever before, but that recreation depends heavily on public lands and waters where recreation is too often treated as a secondary mission.
They also said American families spend $650 billion annually on outdoor fun.
Describing unified action by the recreation community, they said recreation organizations participated in the Democratic and Republican national conventions, recreation PACs and coalitions are now stronger and recreation groups were key to the renewed efforts of the National Park Service and other federal agencies to actively promote outdoors visitation.