The Great American Outdoors Act: One Year Later

One year ago, the landmark Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation is the largest investment in our public lands in nearly a century and the funding will go a long way towards modernizing and expanding campgrounds and ensuring safe and adequate access to public lands and waters for generations of RVers to come.

“This funding has come at a critical time as camping participation and RV production are at an all-time high,” said RV Industry Association Director of Government Affairs Chris Bornemann. “Sixty-five million Americans are planning on taking an RV trip in the next year and industry forecasts project 2021 RV production to reach the highest level ever seen. Combine that with the increase in remote work and the increase in RV rentals, and there are now more RVers looking for a park, forest, and campsite than ever before.”

“GAOA is already having a positive impact on the RV and outdoor recreation industries with projects that have been completed, are underway, and planned,” continued Bornemann. “The U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service have committed to over 150 campground related projects in just the first two years of the five-year program. This is a huge step forward to ensure RVers and park visitors have safe and enjoyable experiences for years to come.”

The U.S Forest Service and National Park Service have identified over a thousand vital infrastructure improvement projects RVers rely on, such as campgrounds, roads, bridges, visitor centers, parking lots, trails, water, and electrical systems. Specifically, nearly $80 million will be invested in Yosemite National Park that will directly improve campgrounds and connecting roads. This project will improve access and the overall RV camper experience by improving sites, rehabilitating and replacing dilapidated roads, replacing an aged water and sewer collection system, making RV accessibility improvements, and enhancing the amenities at many campsites.

Additionally, the U.S. Forest Service is investing tens of millions of dollars and tackling over 100 campground related projects, including the Forest-Wide Campground Maintenance Project at Modoc National Forest, the Peak One Pine Cove Campground Modernization Project at the popular White River National Forest, a survey and design project for five campgrounds in the highly visited Coconino National Forest, and more.

These are just a few of the many shining examples of projects being funded with GAOA money to improve the visitor experience. All of these projects will improve the RV camper and visitor experience while producing additional economic activity for the local communities.

“The RV industry looks forward to continuing our work with the National Park Service, the Forest Service, and other public land agencies to create and maintain updated campgrounds and RV sites to respond to the unprecedented demand for camping and America’s renewed desire of experiencing the health and wellness benefits of getting outdoors,” added Bornemann.

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