OIA likes proposed budget for public lands

BOULDER – While many of the battles over President Obama’s $4 trillion 2015 budget introduced earlier this week will be hashed out over the usual sticking points like social security and taxes, the Outdoor Industry Association emphasized far different portions of the proposal in issuing a statement of support.

The Boulder-based trade group on Friday applauded the president for a budget proposal that “recognizes meaningful investments in our nation’s public lands and waters will support businesses, communities and America’s youth.”

The Boulder Valley is home to numerous manufacturers in the sports and outdoors industry that ultimately may benefit from improved national parks that could attract more visitors taking part in outdoor activities.

Chief among the points of emphasis of the OIA was the fact that the 2015 budget proposal allows the Land and Water Conservation Fund – an investment in the nation’s recreation access and public lands – to retain its intended $900 million in funding rather than redirecting some of those funds elsewhere.

The Centennial initiative, meanwhile, targets up to $640 million for national parks as the National Park Service gears up for its 100th anniversary in 2016. The OIA also pointed out the proposal’s separation of catastrophic wildfire expenses from management budgets to help reduce pressure on agencies trying to meet both needs.

“We commend the president for delivering a budget that understands the importance of investing in the future of America’s parks, waters and trails,” OIA vice president of government affairs Kirk Bailey said in a statement. “As last year’s outcry over the parks and public land closures during the government shutdown demonstrated, Americans care about their public lands.”

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