Administration’s orders back recreation, national parks

Outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, birding, camping and boating have been growing in popularity in recent years, particularly in National Parks.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed a secretarial order to expand public recreation opportunities on federal lands and waters on April 18.

The order requires Department of Interior bureaus to develop plans to expand recreation opportunities, streamline permitting opportunities for outdoor recreation providers that operate on DOI lands and improve contracting for recreation-specific concessioners. The order also directs bureau heads to designate a full-time employee to oversee recreation opportunities

In a separate secretarial order, Zinke established the Senior National Advisor for Recreation to advise on recreation policy and expand outdoor recreation opportunities.

Later that week, President Trump signed an executive order proclaiming April 21 to 29 as National Park Week.

All three orders recognized the growing popularity and economic importance of outdoor recreation on federal lands, such as the National Parks System. On April 16, the Outdoor Industry Association released a series of reports detailing recreation spending across ever congressional district to illustrate the impact outdoor recreation has on local economies.