The Biden Administration announced last week 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.
NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer and chairman of ORR attended the White House ceremony announcing the revival of FICOR, alongside Outdoor Recreation Roundtable 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.
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 Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and chairman of ORR. “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.”
“Solidifying FICOR could not have come at a better time to support America’s public lands, waters, and $689 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Jessica Turner, president of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “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. ORR and its members are ready to partner however we can on solving these challenges together, as well as collectively approaching the many opportunities that are ahead to help everyone access the outdoors and protect our natural resources.”
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.
FICOR will continue its work on coordination of management policies to provide the public numerous recreation opportunities and help traditionally underserved communities access public lands and waters and the benefits of getting outside.
All of this will 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.