Policy Report: A vision for protecting nature

May 10, 2023

Tania Lown-Hecht

Washington, D.C. — Expanding outdoor recreation access while fighting climate change and preserving biodiversity are some of the key benefits of natural climate solutions, according to a new policy report released today by Outdoor Alliance (OA), a non-profit working on behalf of the human-powered outdoor recreation community to protect public lands and waters.

The report, distributed this week to U.S. policy makers, details 15 concrete actions the U.S. can undertake to simultaneously address the growing demand for recreation, support the outdoor economy, ensure sustainable and equitable outdoor access, and protect nature — all while mitigating the effects of climate change.

Titled “A Vision for Protecting Nature: How Natural Climate Solutions Can Benefit the Climate and Outdoor Access,” the report is a roadmap to 15 climate solutions that the U.S. could undertake in the next two to five years. The full report is available to the public on the Outdoor Alliance website.

Outdoor Alliance will use the report to help guide its ongoing efforts to champion conservation-related causes on behalf of people who recreate outdoors. The report invites decision-makers to work to advance these 15 actions, while extending an invitation to individuals, organizations, and partners to join in advocating for them as solutions.

“Protecting nature is a win-win-win solution, and we are in a critical moment to secure a future with more protected land and water,” said Adam Cramer, CEO of Outdoor Alliance. “Expanding land protections, funding climate and the outdoors, and passing conservation reforms and strong recreation policy are four priorities that will provide climate benefits and sustainable, equitable outdoor recreation access for everyone in America.”

The report comes at a critical time, following the current administration’s commitment to 30×30, the goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and waters in the U.S. by 2030. Outdoor Alliance staff sees 30×30 as a useful framework for near-term conservation efforts.

In 2021, Outdoor Alliance produced a report in support of 30×30. This report, “How Outdoor Recreationists Can Support 30×30,” provided recommendations on how public lands and waters could be a part of climate solutions while also supporting equitable and sustainable access to outdoor recreation.

“Our support for 30×30 stems not just from our ambition for conservation, but from the recognition of 30×30’s potential to support goals in synergy,” Cramer said.

Today’s new report outlines four sections of proposed action, including:

  • Land protections, such as protecting lands and waters as National Monuments, and Tribally-led conservation;

  • Investments and funding, such as allocating resources and active stewardship to respond to the effects of the climate crisis;

  • Legislative and administrative reforms, such as mining, and oil and gas reforms;

  • Recreation policy, such as passing America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA) to enhance the outdoor recreation economy, expand recreation opportunities, protect the outdoors, and ensure recreation remains sustainable.

“As with any major policy goal, it’s critical to success that people make their voices heard with their representatives in Congress,” said Cramer. “And we’ll be working to make sure the human-powered outdoor recreation community knows how they can most easily do that.”

Read the report here.

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