The Biden administration last week announced the reinstatement of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR), a multi-agency effort that will work to create safer, more affordable, and more equitable ways for Americans to be outdoors.
NMMA President Frank Hugelmeyer and the Chair of ORR attended the White House ceremony announcing the revival of FICOR, along with Outdoor Recreation Roundtable President Jessica Turner and leaders from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Interior and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Comprised of leaders from the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce and Defense, FICOR will focus on improving access to nature, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities, and providing the public with enhanced and more affordable experiences on America’s public lands and waters .
“With multiple federal agencies responsible for our nation’s outdoor recreation areas, revitalizing FICOR to streamline and improve the stewardship of our public lands and waters is a sensible solution, and we thank President Biden and his administration for taking this action,” said President Frank Hugelmeyer of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Chair of the ORR. “As more and more Americans are drawn to outdoor recreation as a primary means of rest and relaxation, it is imperative for Congress to ensure that the important work of this council is not disrupted under future administrations by enshrining FICOR in law.”
“The consolidation of FICOR could not have come at a better time to support America’s public lands, water bodies and $689 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Jessica Turner, President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “It is critical that federal land and water management agencies work together to address key recovery issues related to funding, overcrowding and climate resilience, and to coordinate the implementation of newly enacted policies that address maintenance backlogs, infrastructure priorities and the distribution of land and dollar dollars Water Conservation Fund. ORR and its members stand ready to work together in any way we can to solve these challenges together and to jointly address the many opportunities that lie ahead to improve access to nature for all and protect our natural resources.”
Initially developed under the Obama administration in 2011, FICOR provided a forum for federal agencies to coordinate recreation management, improve access, and provide a better recreational experience on federally managed lands and waters.
FICOR will continue its work on coordinating management policies to provide ample recreational opportunities for the public and to provide traditionally underserved communities with access to public lands and waters and the benefits of getting out.
All of this will support America’s $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, which supports over 4.3 million American jobs — or 3 percent of America’s workforce — and the health and social benefits that come with this lucrative economic engine.