Ranking 5th in the nation, Maine’s outdoor industry generates 3.3% of the state’s economy. With numbers like that, Senator Angus King has a sharp eye on policies like those in the Great American Outdoors Act and the Build Back Better Act, which is currently going under debate in Congress.
In today’s episode, OIA government affairs director Rich Harper speaks with King and OIA Government Affairs Committee Chair and LL Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman about why they support federal investments in national, state and local parks as means for driving sustainable economic growth, and they discuss how government and outdoor businesses can work together to pass equitable climate-smart legislation like the Outdoors For All Act to ensure our planet, its people and the outdoor industry continue to thrive.
Learn more about Build Back Better and the Outdoors For All Act and how OIA’s policy team works to support its members and the outdoor industry by visiting outdoorindustry.org.
This is the second in our series about international trade and trade policy. In this episode, our director of government affairs Rich Harper and three members of our Trade Advisory Council, discuss the recent precipitous rise in shipping costs, which, on top of punitive tariffs, trade wars and the global pandemic, have made it difficult for our member companies to remain nimble and competitive. Recently, OIA sent a letter to the White House, calling on this administration to invite all stakeholders to the table to identify immediate solutions to the crisis and to enforce all existing regulations. In addition, we're calling for support on legislation recently introduced in Congress to help alleviate the issues. To learn more about OIA's advocacy work, to sign up for our trade alerts and to get involved in legislation to help outdoor companies address this crisis, visit outdoorindustry.org.
Thank you for listing to this episode of Audio Outdoorist. To learn more about how our trade association supports member companies navigate trade policy and issues like the current international shipping crisis, visit outdoorindustry.org. Thank you for listening. Together We Are A Force.
Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-2nd) speaks with OIA’s Director of Policy, Rich Harper, to discuss his recently introduced Civilian Climate Corps proposal, which has been included in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Neguse also talks about his Parks, Jobs and Equity Act, which would invest millions of dollars into urban parks, creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in local economic growth. Rich and the Congressman talk about the industry’s role in passing these measures and why this session might be our best shot and getting the bills through Congress and to the President’s desk.
Hear from OIA's Director of Policy, Rich Harper, and members of the OIA Trade Advisory Council (OIATAC) as they discuss the council's important policy role. In this conversation, Rich is joined by Sara Bowersox, Sr. Manager, Global Trade Compliance, KEEN Footwear; Ben Christensen, Vice President, Operations, Simms Fishing Products; and Jeff Tooze, Vice President, Global Customs & Trade, Columbia Sportswear.
In the second episode of our new series that’s all about climate action, Amy Horton, OIA senior director of sustainable business innovation, and Greg Gausewitz, product sustainability manager for REI, chat about the recent release of REI’s updated Impact Standards and how the retailer hopes the new sustainability and DEI standards will drive meaningful shifts among outdoor brands. He previews what REI vendor meetings will look like now that the new standards are out, and he explains why the OIA Climate Action Corps is a great way for brands — whether they sell to REI or not — to affordably and authentically forge a path toward climate positive.
In the first episode of our new series that's all about climate action, Amy Horton, OIA senior director of sustainable business innovation, and Deborah Williams, OIA director of marketing, communications and storytelling, discuss the most impactful strategies for reducing and reversing global warming by the year 2050 and how the OIA Climate Policy Agenda aims to drive those strategies through a combination of responsible business and federal, state and local legislation.
The 2020 election will be one of the most consequential contests for the outdoor recreation economy. Following enactment of the Great American Outdoors Act, our top priorities are all on the ballot – from tackling climate change and preserving our public lands and waters to expanding access to the outdoors for all Americans to new investments in green infrastructure and close-to-home recreation as outdoor companies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. What can outdoorists expect from the next administration and Congress? What can we learn from our past wins, and how can we ensure our voice is heard?
Listen to this timely discussion of these issues featuring OIA Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), one of Congress’ leading sportsmen and conservationists and a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Can companies in the outdoor industry afford to lean into climate action in the midst and immediate aftermath of a pandemic? That's the question being discussed around the campfire today. Jessie Curry, OIA's Sustainable Business Manager; Jenn Swain, Global Senior Sustainability Manager at Burton; JJ Trout, Chief of Staff at People for Bikes; Chris Sautter, Product Development Center Director at Yakima; and Greg Foweraker, who heads up Product Integrity at GSI Outdoors chat candidly about their respective companies’ approaches to climate and sustainability work. Throughout their conversation, you’ll hear four recurrent themes: risk, resiliency, equity and recovery.
Whether responding to the immediate health pandemic caused by coronavirus or to the long-term ecological crisis caused by climate change, these companies consistently assess risk, invest in resiliency, account for the externalities that influence equity and understand what’s possible when we pause and envision new, better horizons for the economic recovery of their businesses, their communities, the outdoor industry and the globe.
To learn more about the OIA Climate Action Corps, visit outdoorindustry.org/climateaction
Four specialty retail shop owners across the country and an expert in consumer trends and retail strategy gather around the fire to discuss the immediate aftermath of the COVID “shutdown,” the steps they’re taking to reopen or reposition their businesses, the safety precautions they’re using and how they’re recouping their losses. From day-to-day operations adjustments (adjusted hours, curbside pickup, delivery) to staffing changes; creative inventory strategy to quick-start e-commerce solutions, they’ve responded on the fly and without a roadmap. Listen in as they chat candidly about what they’ve learned, what questions they still have, what makes them nervous and what gives them hope about the near and long-term future.
Check out Chris Hogue's webinar, From The Inside Out: Transitioning Retail Experiences to Keep Shoppers Safe. outdoorindustry.org/article/covid-1…-shoppers-safe/
Outdoor industry businesses and employees have been overwhelmed by the impacts of the COVID-19 situation for months now, trying to stay safe while keeping themselves afloat. But as we begin to realize that COVID-19 will be part of our lives for some time, how do individuals and businesses in the outdoor industry move from treading water to being agile and successful in our “new normal?” Join us around the campfire as we discuss how members of the outdoor industry can create resiliency to adapt to the changing landscape, stay true to their core values, and even thrive while navigating an uncertain future.
Leaders of four outdoor industry advocacy organizations — each representing different but overlapping stakeholder groups — gather around the “fire” for an intimate and candid conversation about the public land conservation and access issues that matter to outdoor users and the outdoor economy. Where do the organizations’ policy priorities intersect and where do they diverge? How can members of each organization best support the policy initiatives through in-person and virtual advocacy amid the pandemic safer-at-home orders?
We originally recorded this conversation via a live Brandlive video broadcast on May 14. Throughout the conversation, you heard us referring to some slide images and graphics. You can find those graphics and the full video broadcast here: outdoorindustry.org/article/campfir…-advocacy-home/
And be sure to join the conversation on the Outdoor Industry COVID-19 Forum: www.linkedin.com/groups/12382693/
Amid COVID-19, states across the country implemented stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, all with different closure rules and requirements for local, county, state and national public lands, parks and trails. Now, as the country begins to contemplate reopening those outdoor assets, there are many questions and considerations about how to do it expeditiously but safely. Directors from several state outdoor recreation and parks and wildlife offices gather around the fire to chat about what conversation they’re having with other government and land management agencies, outdoor businesses and participants in their states; what usage and access trends have emerged during the pandemic; and how outdoor businesses have been and can continue to be leaders in their communities as Americans rediscover the benefits of time spent outside.
In this short episode, we look back on the highlights of Day 2 at OR and preview a few of the can’t miss events on Day 3 at Summer Market. You can view Thursday's full OIA events and education agenda here: outdoorindustry.org/event/oia-outdoor-retailer/ To learn more about the work OIA does year round on behalf of its member companies, click here: outdoorindustry.org/
In this short episode, we look back on the highlights of Day 1 at OR and preview a few of the can’t miss events on Day 2 at Summer Market. You can view Wednesday's full OIA events and education agenda here: outdoorindustry.org/event/oia-outdoor-retailer/
To learn more about the work OIA does year round on behalf of its member companies, click here: outdoorindustry.org/
You’ve got sustainability questions; we’ve got answers. Wherever you are on your journey to sustainability, we’re here to help. In 2019, we are helping OIA companies to Walk the Walk by hosting a series of sustainability boot camps. They are designed to help small to mid-sized brands that have limited to no dedicated sustainability staff or expertise to accelerate sustainability improvements and meet (or exceed) customer expectations. The camps are intensive full-day sessions combining engaging speakers, educational content, hands-on activities and take-home resources. The goal is for participants to leave the boot camp with more confidence and clarity around what is a complex topic. They will leave with a customized action plan so that they can champion sustainability within their brand, establish their organization’s strategy and program and take the next steps.
The first boot camp was held in Seattle, Washington, in March, and it hit capacity. The second camp is scheduled for June 16 in Denver, the day before Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, providing scheduling efficiency for those people who are already planning to attend the trade show. If Denver in June isn’t convenient, we’ll be offering two additional boot camps later this year, one in New York City on September 19 and one in Costa Mesa, California on December 5. Visit outdoorindustry.org for more information on the upcoming camps.
In this episode of Audio Outdoorist, we’re speaking with two industry professionals who attended the Seattle camp to find out why their company made it a priority, what they learned and what they’ll do next to keep their sustainability strategy forging forward.
Stay tuned for future stories from NEMO, Showers Pass and other boot camp attendees as they navigate their post boot-camp sustainability journeys. You can also read about how other industry brands are taking steps toward greater sustainability in our online series, “Sustainability: The First Step is the Hardest.”
Last week, in an overwhelming display of bipartisan support, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Natural Resources Management Act. This comes after it successfully passed through the Senate earlier in February, which means it now goes to the president for his signature. This is an enormous win for the outdoor industry, as the package includes many different components, including permanent reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
In this episode, OIA’s Managing Content Editor Deborah Williams sits down with Patricia Rojas-Ungar, OIA’s vice president of government affairs, who recently joined the association. They’ll talk about about what this milestone means for the industry and our members, and the work that still needs to be done.
More here: https://outdoorindustry.org/advocacy/
In the past two weeks, America has experienced what can only be described as whiplash as Congressional leadership, the Senate, House and President Trump bicker over funding priorities and principles. The President has flip-flopped on his insistence for border wall funding and his threats of government shutdown. On December 13, the day we recorded part 1 of this two-part Lame Duck series, we were still optimistic that a handful of important public lands bills—including the Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorization—would get attached to a large omnibus funding package. We were also optimistic Congress and the President would avert a shutdown. Unfortunately, hope for the omnibus package—and with it public lands bills—eroded early this week. As of the time we recorded this episode, a continuing resolution hadn’t yet been reached. OIA Government Affairs Manager Jess Wahl again helps us understand how the disagreements in Washington stymied progress for critical public land policy that, ironically, has more bipartisan support than almost anything else on Capitol Hill.
When the calendar turns over to January 2019, we'll welcome many new faces on Capital Hill. Likewise, we'll say goodbye to any legislative measures on Congress's docket that do not get passed before the Senate and House of Representatives adjourn for the year. In this episode, OIA's Jessica Wahl talks to Deborah Williams about the work that OIA is doing to get bills passed before the finish line and how this will impact the outdoor industry.
This episode is the third in a series about the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), America’s premier federal program that reinvests offshore energy revenue into conservation to ensure that we all have access to the outdoors. Congress created the LWCF almost a half-century ago to guarantee America’s natural, historic and outdoor recreation heritage. Most likely, there’s a park, trail, greenway or waterway very close to you that was funded in part or in whole by LWCF dollars.
In this episode, host Ben Schenck discovers that not only can he see the impacts of LWCF out his window, he can actually bike all the way from his home in Pittsburgh to our nation’s capitol on a series of trails that were connected thanks to LWCF dollars. Travel along with Ben as he rides more than 300 miles and learns about the history of the trail system. Along the way he meets other outdoorists who are thru-biking or section-biking and -hiking the Great Allegheny Passage Trail and the C&O Canal Towpath.
On September 30 of this year, Congress let LWCF expire, so at the time of this recording in November, our public lands and waters have lost over $100 million dollars in potential funding. Encourage your member of Congress to reauthorize LWCF before the end of this year. Visit outdoorindusty.org/lwcf to learn about the fund, to see a map of projects across the country that are funded by LWCF and to find our social media toolkit. Then Tweet or tag your lawmakers in D.C. Tell them why LWCF is important to you and your community. Make sure they know what you—and they—stand to lose if they don’t reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Saturday is Day 3 of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, and it will feature the third of our OIA lunch sessions. Hear from OIA’s new State and Local Policy Director David Weinstein about the lunch panel he’ll moderate to bring attendees up to speed on the growing trend of state outdoor recreation offices. Learn what you can do for them and what they can do for you. Also, find out about the resources and goodies on offer at the OIA booth, #30001-UL of the Colorado Convention Center. View Saturday’s full OIA events and education agenda here.
Click here to learn more about the work OIA does year round on behalf of its member companies.
This is our short preview of what’s coming up on Day 2 of the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. In this episode we again hear from OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts about Friday’s OIA lunch session. The topic: “How Change Happens: Why do some social movements succeed while others don’t?” Roberts explains why she invited author Leslie Crutchfield to talk at this year’s trade show and how Crutchield’s expertise can help guide the outdoor industry moving forward into 2019 and beyond. Also on the agenda Friday is a sustainability session for anyone who wants to increase their understanding of and involvement with the Higg Index as they develop their company’s sustainability work. You can view Friday’s full OIA events and education agenda here.
Click here to learn more about the work OIA does year round on behalf of its member companies.
In this short episode, we preview a few of the can’t miss events on Day 1 of the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, which begins Thursday, November 8, in Denver. Beginning with the Industry Breakfast at 7 a.m. and ending with the Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award, the first day is packed with informative and inspiring programming.
OIA’s Executive Director Amy Roberts talks about breakfast keynote Leslie Ghize of the TOBE Report, who will share insights about how today’s brands and specialty retailers can thrive in the changing retail landscape. And OIA Political Director Alex Boian explains why the Thursday lunch session recapping the 2018 midterm election campaigns will help attendees understand how the turnout and outcomes affect OIA’s policy agenda in Washington D.C. and in state houses around the country. You can view Thursday’s full OIA events and education agenda here.
Click here to learn more about the work OIA does year round on behalf of its member companies.
In this short interview, OIA’s managing content editor Deborah Williams sits down with Jimmy Chin to talk about to talk about the newest film that he and his wife, documentary filmmaker Chai Vasarhelyi created about Alex Honnold's free solo climb of El Cap: National Geographic’s Free Solo. Jimmy talks about the ethical questions that arose throughout the project and the team’s desire to reflect an accurate and unflinching portrait of Alex Honnold. He also talks about why this project and the work that he does as a photographer and North Face athlete are so important to helping people—within and outside the outdoor industry—understand the value of our public lands and waters. Take a listen, and then go see this incredible film, which is coming to theaters nationwide this month. You can find out more at freesolofilm.com
With the impending midterm elections, we have released OIA's first ever Voter's Guide. First and foremost, we encourage everyone out there to vote - but more than that, we want you to vote informed! We have the power to put policymakers in office who will continue to grow the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy. Our Voter's Guide provides expert insights and commentary on key issues and races. We help you understand candidates’ voting records and how gubernatorial and congressional races across the country could affect the balance of power nationwide on issues important to the outdoors. Visit the Voter's Guide find all the info you need to vote informed this November. And please share the guide with your networks using the hashtag #VoteTheOutdoors.
Finally, one of the issues you’ll read about in the Voters Guide and that earned headlines this past weekend is the Land and Water Conservation Fund or LWCF. On September 30, Congress let LWCF expire. Not sure what LWCF is or why its expiration is a problem? Visit outdoorindustry.org/LWCF to get up to speed.
Live from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver, CO, Deborah Williams brings you the highlights of the day's news, must-attend events, and the hottest products.