Outdoor Industry Association, a membership trade organization dedicated to the outdoor industry and title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer, released a tool that voters can use to look up their elected representatives’ grade on the Outdoor Industry Association Congressional Scorecard. The Scorecard measures every member of Congress based on their voting records, and their overall support or opposition of the outdoor industry policy priorities. OIA released the scorecard alongside their announcement of the ‘Vote the Outdoors’ campaign during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver, an outdoor industry tradeshow.

More specifically, the OIA Congressional Scorecard ranks Congress on the following:

  • Their voting record on important issues like funding for our national parks, protecting our land and water (like Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and the Arctic) and key trade votes that impact the outdoor industry
  • Their support and sponsorship of key outdoor recreation priority legislation like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the U.S. OUTDOOR Act and the Outdoor Recreation Economy Climate Resolution
  • Membership in the House Outdoor Recreation Caucus or the Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus

The scorecard grades votes on specific legislation, along with the overall support of members of Congress based on the bills they sponsor that may help or hurt the outdoor industry. You can read about the specific pieces of legislations that OIA based their grading criteria on here.

The upcoming elections and the threats to public land were some of the motivations for launching the Vote the Outdoors campaign.  “Americans have witnessed a rollback of protections for public lands, where the vast majority of outdoor recreation takes place,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA. “This has resulted in a jump in the number of Americans identifying themselves as conservationists and expressing a desire to become better educated on the positive role recreation plays in their local economies and the well-being of families and communities.”