Manchin: Outdoor Recreation Is A Powerful Economic Driver

October 31, 2019

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to receive testimony on several recreation bills. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Committee, stressed the economic impact outdoor recreation has had and will have for states across the country, particularly West Virginia.

“Outdoor recreation has been a powerful economic driver in states across the country—and my home state of West Virginia is no exception. It’s been wonderful. I’ve seen firsthand the jobs that the outdoor recreation economy has brought to rural areas in West Virginia. Outdoor recreation in my state now generates two percent of our GDP and supports 22,200 jobs. And three percent of our workforce is now employed in the outdoor recreational sector, earning over $688 million in salaries,” Ranking Member Manchin said.

Ranking Member Manchin also highlighted the recreation opportunities that West Virginia has to offer and asked his colleagues to look at the bills through the lens of economic development.

“We have some of the most fantastic rivers in terms of rafting with the New and the Gauley. If this is for recreation, then why is the federal government throttling everything back? Why are we fighting the federal government about access days and everything else?” Ranking Member Manchin said.  “As our Committee reviews legislation related to outdoor recreation, I believe we must ensure the ideas being discussed will grow the economies of rural communities.

The hearing featured witnesses from the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, National Outdoor Leadership School, Oregon State University and Vail Resorts Management Company.  To read their testimony click here.  

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.