As Congress reconvenes, it will begin to tackle the difficult problems posed by the national debt. A major part of the fix will likely be significant cuts to government spending, but I hope those cuts don’t result in a loss to our natural and historic resources.
As Oregon-Washington Field Representative for Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, I can attest that we understand outdoor recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs will be scrutinized. I urge U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and her colleagues to consider the positive impact that these programs have for communities in Southwest Washington and the rest of the nation. I hope she will seriously consider the low cost and significant economic benefits that these programs provide to our local, state, and national economies.
Congress should not target programs that contribute billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to our economy. Outdoor recreation, everything from hunting and fishing to hiking and youth sports, pumps $730 billion into our national economy every year and generates an estimated $88 billion annually in federal and state tax revenue, money that helps to pay for schools, roads, and public safety. Outdoor recreation also supports 6.5 million jobs, in both public agencies and private businesses — jobs that cannot be exported elsewhere.