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Vista makes case for Nine Outdoor Recreation Bills before U.S. Senate Committee

two people sitting in a board room
Jessica (Wahl) Turner, Executive Director, Outdoor Recreation (left) and Fred Ferguson, VP Public Affairs and Communications at Vista Outdoor were two of four expert witnesses at today’s hearing.

Fred C. Ferguson, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Vista Outdoor,  delivered remarks this morning to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources outlining the company’s support of several outdoor recreation bills.

Ferguson testified before the committee alongside Christopher French, Deputy Chief, National Forest System, USDA Forest Service; Mark Lambrecht, Assistant Director, National Conservation Lands & Community Partnerships, Bureau of Land Management; and Jessica (Wahl) Turner, President, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.

After opening remarks from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Chairman, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Ranking Member, the four witnesses discussed the merits of each bill and answer questions from Committee members. These bills include the Outdoors for All Act, the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, the Outdoor Recreation Act and more (see full list).

At the center of the common goals are expanded access, diversity and better management of our nation’s public lands. These issues became front and center during the pandemic as more Americans sought solace outside, whether that was a walk in their neighborhood park or a two-week mountaineering expedition.
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“The time to invest in the outdoors is now,” Ferguson told the committee. “Millions of people ventured outdoors over the past 20 months. Some reconnected with their favorite pastimes, such as hunting or biking, while others engaged in a recreational activity for the first time, including more than 10 million first-time campers. This resurgence in outdoor activity has continued in 2021 and isn’t expected to slow down. With so many new and existing participants venturing outside, it’s incumbent upon leaders in the private and public sectors to adjust to these changing trends and creating an outdoor ecosystem that is more accessible, diverse and streamlined.”​​​​​​​

Ferguson’s presence among the witnesses before the Senate committee underscores Vista Outdoor’s continued efforts to expand outdoor access for all. ​​​​​​​

Vista Outdoor supports all nine bills before the Committee, which the company believes are paramount to growing the industry for all stakeholders and expanding the $689 billion outdoor economy.

See the archived hearing video.

See the Full Release.

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