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Press Releases

OIA Announces 2009 Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award Recipients

The 2009 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Awards will be presented to Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).

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The 2009 Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Friend of the Outdoor Industry Awards will be presented to Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) for their leadership in advocating for public policies that support the growth and success of the active outdoor industry. The awards will be presented during the annual Outdoor Industry Association Capitol Summit in Washington, D.C., on April 21 through April 23.

“Both Senator Cantwell and Congressman Grijalva have been real leaders in ensuring that policies that impact the outdoor recreation industry help to support the growth of the outdoor recreation economy and our industry,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA. “We are deeply appreciative of their efforts.”

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is a member of the Senate Finance Committee where she oversees trade policy and a member of the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over Public Lands and Forests. These committee assignments and the location of many outdoor industry companies in Washington state have made her a key ally on trade and public lands issues.

Senator Cantwell is the lead sponsor of the Affordable Footwear Act, a bipartisan legislative initiative to eliminate duties on outdoor recreation footwear and a supporter of the bill to reduce tariffs on outdoor performance apparel while investing in a fund focused on sustainable textile manufacturing.

Senator Cantwell has also been a leader for the outdoor industry on recreation issues. She recently passed legislation that designates the 1,200 mile Pacific Northwest Scenic Trail as a National Scenic Trail and will promote its protection and maintenance. She has opposed making the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge available for oil exploration, introduced the Roadless Area Conservation Act which would protect 58.5 million acres of the United States’ last remaining pristine forestlands, and championed legislation that designated 106,000 acres of land in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as the Wild Sky Wilderness Area.

Senator Cantwell has joined fellow senators in advocating for increased funding for the stateside Land and Water Conservation Fund and most recently, she stressed the importance of the issue to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during his confirmation hearing.

Finally, Senator Cantwell authored the Senate letter sent to then-Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne urging him to postpone the December 2008 lease sales on sensitive wilderness lands and lands adjacent to national parks in Utah. That issue was resolved last week when U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that he will withdraw the offering of 77 leases in the Green River and 9 Mile Canyon corridors of Utah.

“I’d like to thank the Outdoor Industry Association for this recognition,” said Senator Cantwell. “I have the privilege to represent one of the most beautiful states in the country, which is home to some of our most pristine natural resources and national parks. I will continue working on policies that support outdoor recreation and protect this nation’s natural resources,” she continued.

Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is chairman of the House subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands. The Subcommittee oversees 600, 000 million acres of federal land. During his tenure as chair of the committee, Congressman Grijalva has been a staunch proponent of increasing funding for public lands and for policies that prioritize the preservation of wilderness and opportunities for human-powered recreation.

Congressman Grijalva is the lead sponsor of the bill that provides permanent congressional recognition of the Bureau of Land Management’s National Landscape Conservation System.

Congressman Grijalva is also the lead sponsor and author of the House-version of the National Park Service Centennial Initiative. His bill would provide the National Park Service $1 billion over a ten-year period to fund signature projects in the National Parks in advance of the 2016 NPS Centennial.

During the Bush Administration, Congressman Grijalva served as a congressional watchdog of the Department of Interior as he pushed for a more balanced approach to energy development on public lands in which the needs and benefits of human-powered recreation would be given considerable weight in the decision-making process. At the end of 2008, he asked the Forest Service to make its recreation fee program more transparent to the paying-public and has prioritized hearings on the recreation fee program in his committee’s agenda for 2009.
“I’d like to thank the Outdoor Industry Association for this honor,” said Congressman Grijalva. “When we invest in the protection of our natural heritage, we also invest in the well-being of our people and the health of our economy. America’s public lands provide recreation for our citizens, as well as opportunity for the active outdoor recreation industry. I remain committed to protecting our nation’s natural and cultural resources so that Americans can continue to enjoy them, responsibly, for generations to come,” he continued.
The Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award is presented annually to members of Congress and administration officials in recognition for their leadership in support of the active outdoor recreation industry.

Past recipients of the Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award include:
2008: Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), Representative Mark Udall (D-CO)
2007: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO)
2006: Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO)
2005: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
2004: Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY)
2003: Representative David Obey (D-WI), Representative Nancy Johnson (R-CT)
2002: Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA)
2001: Representative George Miller (D-CA), Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)


About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous, Outdoor University, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to or call 303.444.3353.