2016 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award Recipients Announced

April 27, 2016

OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award Given Annually to Elected Leaders Who Support the Outdoor Industry

President Barack Obama will be given the 2016 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award during this year’s Capitol Summit for his support of the outdoor industry throughout his two terms in office. The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) awards are given to elected leaders who have consistently demonstrated support for the outdoor industry and have advanced the industry’s policy interests.

Outdoor Industry Association is also recognizing Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID), and Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) for their work in Congress to ensure funding and access for public lands and waters, to protect special outdoor places, and to make sure the outdoor industry’s interests and values are reflected in international trade issues.

“On many issues, Washington, D.C., has come to represent division and partisanship,” said OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts. “One issue that is finding common ground, however, is that outdoor recreation is a powerful economic force and a foundation for healthy communities and healthy economies across the United States. We are proud to present these awards to President Obama and our champions for the outdoor industry in Congress.”

From hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina, early in his first term to launching his Every Kid in a Park initiative, and as the first sitting U.S. president to explore Alaska’s Denali National Park, President Obama has consistently shown a love for America’s great outdoors.

By appointing Ken Salazar, a two-time OIA friend award recipient, as the 50th Secretary of the Interior and following that with his choice of outdoor industry leader Sally Jewell as Salazar’s successor, Obama made it clear that protecting America’s land and water is a top priority.

His policies have protected more outdoor places than any other president in American history.

Obama’s leadership to meaningfully address climate change and reduce carbon emissions has been an example to the world, launching a transition from coal power to a clean energy future and resulting in a historical international agreement last year in Paris.

On international trade, the president has sought a balanced approach that promotes “Made in the USA” products, while eliminating trade barriers through policies that reflect the realities of a global economy.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Heinrich has been a champion for keeping our public lands and waters in public hands, access for organized groups, wilderness protections for iconic landscapes and ensuring our parks and public lands remain relevant for future generations. He has been a fearless leader fighting for adequate funding for our land management agencies, a champion in both the House and the Senate on the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a leader on wildfire funding reform and an advocate for balancing sound land management with protection for iconic places like New Mexico’s Columbine Hondo Wilderness and the Organ Mountains.

During his time in office, Senator Heinrich has supported our key trade initiative—the U.S. OUTDOOR Act—and attended our industry’s premier trade show, Outdoor Retailer.

Representative Simpson has long been a champion of adequate funding for our public lands agencies, including being a leading voice in Congress for renewal of the LWCF program after it expired last year. Simpson has been a leader on wildfire funding reform, House sponsor of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act and an advocate for balancing sound land management with protection for iconic places like the Boulder-White Clouds National Monument.

Representative Simpson has also supported a number of trade priorities that have benefited outdoor companies such as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.

Representative Bonamici has been a tireless champion for the industry on both our trade and recreation agendas. She has sponsored multiple industry-specific trade bills and has been an advocate for the industry’s balanced trade agenda.

Bonamici also understands the importance of adequate funding for our public lands agencies and the need to promote and protect outdoor recreation in Oregon and across the country through her longtime vocal support of LWCF and leadership on wildfire funding reform.

The 2016 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Awards will be celebrated during an evening reception on Capitol Hill during the OIA Capitol Summit on Wednesday, April 27th.

Outdoor Industry Association

Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves over 1200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy , sustainable business, market & consumer insights and industry trends. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.