U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently announced the addition of Correct Craft President and CEO Bill Yeargin to the U.S. Department of Interior’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee.
The announcement was made Friday, May 11, during the recreational marine industry’s annual legislative conference, the American Boating Congress, in Washington, D.C.
The committee advises the Secretary of the Interior on public-private partnerships across all public lands with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure on public lands and waterways.
Yeargin is a longtime leader within the recreational boating industry and as part of the Committee will represent the interests of the marine industry and boating enthusiasts.
He is president and CEO of Correct Craft, a 93-year-old marine industry holding company with global operations.
Correct Craft’s subsidiaries include several boat companies, Aktion Parks and Pleasurecraft Marine Engines.
“I am honored to serve our country and industry in this manner and appreciate Secretary Zinke’s confidence and appointment,” Yeargin said. “The U.S. has wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities and I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke and other leaders to ensure we make that experience available to all while also protecting it for future generations.”
When the committee was announced by Secretary Zinke earlier this year, Zinke noted that the Made in America Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee is made up of the private sector’s best and brightest and will tackle some of the biggest public lands infrastructure and access challenges.
Dating back to the early days of the National Park Service, American businesses have been helping improve the public's public land experience by doing everything from building iconic lodges like the Grand Canyon's El Tovar to the historic "red jammers" in Glacier National Park, Zinke stated.
The committee will help build on that legacy and provide valuable insight into addressing the maintenance backlog on public lands, Zinke added.
"The committee’s collective experience as entrepreneurs and business leaders provide unique insight that is often lost in the Federal government," Zinke said. "As we rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, we can continue the exponential growth of the American recreation sector, which supports millions of American jobs and bares a significant impact on our economy.”
In a March press release, the U.S. Department of Interior noted that members of the committee are selected for their diverse backgrounds and experiences with the recreational industry and will have knowledge utilizing public-private partnerships, providing recreational visitor experiences, developing and deploying infrastructure improvements, or a thorough understanding of recreational equipment.
To elevate outdoor recreation as a federal priority, Zinke has been working with the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), a coalition of outdoor recreation groups working to promote the policy and legislative reforms needed to enhance the outdoor recreation economy.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) cites that recreational boating and fishing drive an estimated $38 billion of U.S. GDP as part of the outdoor recreation economy, which represents two percent of U.S. GDP.
Outdoor recreation on our nation’s public lands and waters is entirely American made—neither the experiences nor their economic contributions can be exported.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the trade group for the U.S. recreational boating industry, is a founding member of ORR and supported the addition of Yeargin to the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee.
“Bill brings the voice of recreational boating to the Secretary’s Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee — a voice that’s critical as we work with the U.S. Department of Interior to advance balanced policies that conserve public waterways so that they can be accessed and enjoyed today and by future generations of boaters and anglers," said Thom Dammrich, ORR chairman and NMMA president.
Yeargin is an industry leader with a deep understanding and appreciation of the recreational marine economy, Dammrich added. He is an active presence across many facets of recreational boating and will bring tremendous value to the Committee and the marine industry.
NMMA and its partners in the ORR are focused on several key pillars to improve the outdoor recreation economy and enhance America’s public lands and waters including:
- Fostering collaboration between the outdoor recreation industry and federal policy makers;
- Removing barriers that prevent improvement of visitor facilities on of public lands through public-private partnerships;
- Prioritizing accessibility of public lands and waters so that more Americans can enjoy the great outdoors;
- Advancing balanced policies that conserve federal lands and waterways so that they can be accessed and enjoyed today and by future generations of Americans;
- Ensuring that the outdoor recreation economy is recognized by policymakers for its importance to the health of the overall economy.
Please visit www.RecreationRoundtable.org for more information on the coalition’s activities and membership.