BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — The Outdoor Industry Association says a U.S. House budget proposal would have devastating impacts on the nation’s public lands and the economic benefits they generate.
The OIA issued a statement Friday over proposed funding reductions for the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service and Environmental Protection Agency. The OIA noted that the cuts would affect management and land access opportunities that generate $646 billion annually in direct economic activity.
“This is the wrong place to cut the budget,” said Kirk Bailey, vice president of government affairs for OIA. “The nation’s recreation lands are beacons of economic opportunity and directly generate economic activity that is good for communities and this country. This proposal is short-sighted and will create more challenges than it will solve.”
House appropriators have proposed cutting funding to the three agencies to 14 percent below current levels, 18 percent below what Congress allocated before sequestration, and 20 percent below President Obama’s budget request.
"If enacted, such cuts would mean more park closures, greater threats to clean rivers and streams, fewer youth and educational programs, and reduced wildfire protection," the OIA said.