In many ways, we’re blessed to operate our agency in the nation’s capitol. We’re a stone’s throw from Capitol Hill, there’s a great quality of life, and then there’s all the green. Washington, DC is one America’s greenest cities but you wouldn’t know it watching the nightly news or all those dark political dramas. There are some 5.2 million area residents, and just 620k folk living within the District’s boundaries. There are over 7600 acres of public lands in D.C. – that’s an astounding 88 acres of public lands per resident!
We wish more agencies would get involved in the political process for the things they cared about.
When we work with our outdoor clients – Orvis, Scientific Angler, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust – we get a chance to tap into a big passion here at the shop, a true love for the great outdoors. We take advantage of the Potomac for our fishing, Rock Creek Park for our hiking, the C&O canal for our running, and of course the Mall and its many memorials and museums when family is in town. The public land seems to have always been there and feels like it always will – but that can easily be taken for granted. Attacks on our public lands are coming from left and right, and they’re relentless and absurd. I mean, who ever heard of SHRINKING a national park?! But it happened.
Turns out the Outdoor Recreation economy is worth 2% of GDP – that’s $887 billion dollars in 2016. For reference, the mining economy is worth just 1% GDP, all Oil and Gas extraction just 1.4%. And there are some 7.6 million direct American jobs in the Outdoor Recreation Economy. The district’s ORE is $1 billion alone.
That’s why Admirable Devil took off our kicks and put on our loafers to hit the hill during the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2018 Capitol Summit. We gathered with the outdoor industry representatives from every major brand from REI to NorthFace, and many dozens of emerging brands, most with products made right here in America to lobby Congress. We met with our delegate Congresswoman Holmes Norton and several other delegates from across the South East. We pressed them to protect public lands, outdoor businesses, and to co-sponsor the Land Water Conservation Fund for full funding. LWCF funds from offshore energy extraction produce millions for the conservation of places like Appalachian Trail. We walked over 8 miles between the Senate and Congress in a single-day – met with dozens of representatives – and we made our voices heard for outdoor enthusiasts around DC and beyond. We wish more agencies would get involved in the political process for the things they cared about.
So does that make us lobbyists? We prefer outdoor advocates.
To learn more about Outdoor Recreation Economy, visit outdoorindustry.org.