As an Oregon river rafting outfitter, I would like to thank Senator Wyden for his ongoing support of public lands. In Oregon, direct consumer spending on outdoor recreation contributes $12.8 billion per year to our state’s economy and supports 141,200 jobs. Nationally, outdoor recreation contributes $646 billion to the U.S. economy.
It’s important to us to safeguard Oregon’s outdoor playgrounds as our public lands and parks form the bedrock of our industry. They not only inspire us as well as visitors to Oregon, but they also provide important wildlife habitat and serve as natural spaces for our rafting guests, employees, children, and grandchildren.
So I’m speaking up in support of keeping public lands in public hands and protecting Oregon’s natural treasures via national monuments and protected wilderness areas. I hope to ensure full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
I would especially like to thank Senator Wyden for his leadership to protect Oregon’s wilderness areas with the Oregon Treasures Act. This act provides important protection for rivers across the state including one of my favorites, the Chetco River which is threatened by suction dredge mining. Senator Wyden’s continued dedication to advancing wilderness proposals through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will ensure greater access to outdoor recreation across the country.
I hope that Senator Wyden will continue to prioritize conservation and recreation issues that are crucial to the rafting industry and support our rural Oregon communities.