U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with 10 Democratic Senate colleagues, have sent a letter to Senate Leadership urging them to include support for outdoor recreation and public land infrastructure jobs in the next COVID-19 relief package.
With supply chains stalled, retailers shuttered, parks closed, and trips and travel canceled, the $778 billion outdoor industry is uniquely impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
“The crisis before us requires targeted investment to reinvigorate our outdoor tourism economy and get Americans back to work,” wrote the Senators. “Outdoor restoration investments generate more jobs compared to other alternatives because most of the investment goes towards labor, rather than materials. According to an analysis of past federal support for the outdoor economy, conservation investments generated 15 to 33 jobs per million dollars and an economic return of $2.4 for every $1 invested.”
Senators Udall and Heinrich were instrumental in the Senate-passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, bipartisan legislation that would fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and make record investments in New Mexico’s outdoor economy.
The bill includes a measure championed by Sen. Heinrich to extend funding to address maintenance backlogs at all four public lands agencies and the Bureau of Indian Education.
The letter, led by U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), was also signed by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
Read the full text of the letter here.