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RESTON, Va. — Now is the time to pass the 2019 Public Lands Act; a comprehensive bundle of bipartisan bills that will protect public lands and waterways while delivering needed reforms to enhance the outdoor recreation experiences of RVers nationwide, the RV Industry Association reported.
The 2019 Public Lands Act is vital to the continued health of the RV industry and is moving through Congress right now, the release noted.
The RV Industry Association, along with other members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, are advocating for these reforms on Capitol Hill, but the group needs people to urge their senators to cosponsor S.47 and include the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act (RNR) in this legislative package.
Of most importance to the RV industry, this bill provides the ideal opportunity to include RNR, legislation that more than 100 RV industry executives advocated for during last year’s RVIA Advocacy Day, RVIA explained. But, to get RNR added, RVIA needs people to contact their senator and ask that it be added.
Other provisions in the bill of interest to the RV industry include:
Title XIII — Off-highway vehicle recreation areas
This section designates or expands off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation areas in order to preserve and enhance the recreational opportunities within the conservation area, including opportunities for off-highway vehicle recreation. It also works to conserve wildlife and other natural resource values in the conservation area.
So many RVers participate in OHV recreation there is a segment within the RV industry dedicated to hauling OHVs and other “toys.”
Sec. 3001 will permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Congress allowed this 50-year conservation legacy to expire Sept. 30.
The LWCF has funded recreation access projects across the country and is one of the most widely supported tools to conserve and protect America’s outdoor heritage, RVIA explained.
LWCF has supported recreation access projects in almost every county in the country, and our member businesses and customers need certainty that this program will be around in the future to support the growing RV camping industry and outdoor recreation economy, RVIA noted.
Title IV — Sportsmen’s access and related matters
This section is composed of a bipartisan legislative package that expands and enhances sportsmen’s access by making federal lands presumptively “open unless closed” for fishing, hunting, recreational shooting and other outdoor activities.
This legislation provides new opportunities for Americans to enjoy public lands and instructs federal agencies to expand and enhance access for recreation.
Title IX — Miscellaneous
Sec. 9001, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, educates families that public lands are some of the best venues for children to experience the outdoors and participate in healthy outdoor recreation.
This legislation will provide all fourth graders with free access to public lands and waters. These students can request an annual pass, which will allow them to have free access for themselves and up to three adults accompanying them. That expands the opportunity for children and their families to begin to experience the RV lifestyle and appreciate and enjoy our iconic public lands and waters.
Sec. 9003, the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act (21CSC), is a national initiative to annually engage 100,000 young adults and veterans in service on public lands throughout the country.
21CSC organizations are grounded in the community; they leverage private funds, spur local economic development and support the outdoor recreation economy, all while helping young adults and veterans obtain in-demand skills for the growing recreation, natural resource and restoration economies, RVIA explained.
To ask senators to support the Public Lands Act, visit www.rvact.org/lands-package.
SOURCE: RV Industry Association