The new Outdoor Recreational Industry Roundtable shared a white paper with the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump that outlines “critical infrastructure needs,” including a request for a one-time funding infusion and increased appropriations for government agencies.
In the coming weeks, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and its roundtable partners will outline their priorities in a series of white papers.
“Insufficient investment in infrastructure projects has reduced access to facilities and outdoor experiences, damaged natural resources, increased safety risks to recreationists and added to long-term maintenance costs,” the white paper said.
“The failure to preserve and maintain infrastructure in and around public lands and waters has a significant impact across the broader economy, given that outdoor recreation represents nearly 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product,” it said.
Some of the key requests in the white paper include:
- In the first transportation funding bill enacted by Congress, fully fund the Federal Lands Transportation Program and the Federal Lands Access Program to pay for the completion of all surface transportation projects in and leading to federal public lands and waters before the end of the president's first term, and reauthorize and fully fund the Recreational Trails Program;
- Enact new appropriations to provide a one-time infusion of funding to ensure adequate federal support to reduce maintenance backlogs in public lands and waters infrastructure by half before the end of the president's first term;
- Increase annual appropriations for the civil works, recreation and trails budgets for public lands and waters infrastructure in the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budgets, as well as for any other departments and agencies with jurisdiction over federal lands and waters;
- Remove barriers to and encourage the expansion of public-private partnerships for public lands and waters infrastructure;
- Enact legislation to create an endowment for public lands and waters infrastructure and encourage private investments in infrastructure projects in these areas;
- Reauthorize the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to ensure fees collected on public lands and waters are used for recreation enhancements in those areas.