June 17, 2020

Young: Great American Outdoors Act Supports RV Industry, Indiana Parks, Hoosier Jobs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) today voted for passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 73-25. 


“The outdoor recreation industry generates $15.7 billion in spending by consumers in Indiana and supports 143,000 jobs, especially in Elkhart County – the RV Capital of the World. The Great American Outdoors Act will enable long-delayed park maintenance to move forward, which will help create jobs, support our RV manufacturers, and improve our parks,” said Senator Young.“At a time when coronavirus has hampered our economy, this legislation supports Hoosier workers and manufacturers, and ensures our parks and natural resources are available for all Hoosiers to enjoy.”


In Indiana alone, deferred National Park Service maintenance costs totaled $34.2 million in 2018, including needed maintenance and infrastructure repairs at Indiana Dunes National Park, the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, and the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Spencer County. The Great American Outdoors Act will enable these repairs to move forward. It also includes funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, protecting treasures such as the Hoosier National Forest, Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, and Indiana Dunes National Park. 


Indiana supporters of the Great American Outdoors Act include local businesses, the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council, Indiana Dunes Tourism, Indiana Forest Alliance, Indiana Parks Alliance, and the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Additional supporters include the RV Industry Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and more.


“As more Americans look to RVs as a way to still get out and see our nation’s majestic public lands while also adhering to social distancing, it is more important than ever for Congress to address the mounting deferred maintenance on these lands through the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act,” said Kevin McArt, General Manager of Forest River Inc. “We applaud the Senators who voted for the bill, particularly Senator Todd Young of Indiana who understands the importance of this legislation to create safe and enjoyable experiences for the 20 million RVers across the country.”


“Today’s passage of the Great American Outdoors Act by the Senate is an important win for not only the RV industry but the greater $778 billion outdoor recreation economy. This legislation will ensure safe and enjoyable experiences for the millions of RVers across the country by addressing the deferred maintenance backlog on public lands and waters,” said Mike Happe, President and CEO of Winnebago Industries. “We are particularly grateful to Senators Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley and Todd Young for their dedication to the RV industry and the people of Iowa and Indiana. Enactment of this milestone legislation will mean increased recreation access for all Americans no matter where they live.”


Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) issued the following statement in response to the bill’s passage: “NRPA applauds the Senate for passing the Great American Outdoors Act. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a program that is incredibly important for communities across America. This marks a huge win for our more than 60,000 members and advocates, who work tirelessly to serve the public with parks and trails in urban and rural communities throughout the country. The Great American Outdoors Act enjoys strong bipartisan support for providing critical resources to local communities for conservation, parks and recreation. Now, we urge the House to pass the Great American Outdoors Act and ensure that LWCF becomes fully funded and therefore can effectively serve communities through parks, outdoor recreation, conservation, and health and wellness. It’s time for the House to finish the job.”