The Biden Administration recently announced the re-establishment of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR), an interagency effort that will work to create more safe, affordable, and equitable opportunities for Americans to get outdoors. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), FICOR includes leaders from the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Defense and will focus on improving access to nature, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities, and providing the public with improved and more affordable experiences on America’s public lands and waters.
“With multiple federal agencies responsible for our nation’s outdoor recreation sites, reviving FICOR to streamline and improve the management of our public lands and waters is a commonsense solution and we thank President Biden and his administration for taking this action,” said NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer. “As more Americans continue to gravitate toward outdoor recreation as their primary means of rest and relaxation, it is imperative for Congress to ensure this council’s vital work is not interrupted under future administrations by enshrining FICOR in law,” Hugelmeyer added.
As NMMA president, Hugelmeyer is also chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and attended the White House ceremony announcing the revival of FICOR alongside ORR president Jessica Turner, as well as leaders from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Solidifying FICOR could not have come at a better time to support America’s public lands, waters, and $689 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said ORR president Jessica Turner. “It is critical that federal land and water management agencies work together to address important recreation issues around funding, overcrowding, and climate resiliency, as well as coordinate on the implementation of newly passed measures that will address the maintenance backlog, infrastructure priorities, and distribution of Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars,” Turner added.
FICOR was originally developed under the Obama Administration in 2011 and provided a forum for federal agencies to coordinate recreation management, improve access, and provide a better recreation experience on federally managed lands and waters. According to an NMMA press release, FICOR will continue its work on coordination of management policies to provide recreational opportunities for the public while helping traditionally underserved communities access public lands and waters.
Hugelmeyer and the NMMA said this will all help support America’s $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, which supports over 4.3 million American jobs – or 3 percent of the American workforce – and the health and social benefits that come with this lucrative economic driver.
For more information visit NMMA.org.