America’s national parks, national forests, rivers, oceans, and protected public lands are a powerful engine for growth in the U.S. economy. Outdoor recreation generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year and supports 6.1 million jobs across the country. Increasingly, communities are using outdoor amenities to draw entrepreneurs, recruit workers, attract visitors, and deliver an unmatched quality of life to their residents.
While local economies and business communities see open spaces and public lands as a competitive advantage, the economic benefits of America’s outdoors are not always measured in government analyses or accounted for in decision making. As a result, policymakers may be overlooking opportunities to spur job creation and growth in the outdoor economy.
The Center for American is pleased to host a conversation to highlight the growing importance of public lands and waters to recreation and non-recreation businesses. After remarks from our keynote speakers and a moderated Q&A session, a panel of experts will discuss steps the federal government can take to better account for and encourage the growth of the outdoor economy.
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center for American Progress
Cam Brensinger, Founder, President and CEO, NEMO Equipment
Paul Smith, Independent Venture Investor, Veteran Startup CEO and member of the Conservation for Economic Growth Coalition
Margaret Walls, Research Director and Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
Jim Tankersley, Economic Policy Correspondent, The Washington Post
Refreshments will be served at 2:00 p.m.