Letters: Outdoor Industry Association endorses Bullock

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is proud to endorse Governor Steve Bullock for reelection in Montana’s gubernatorial race. This marks the first time ever OIA has endorsed a state level candidate.

OIA is the national trade association for suppliers, manufacturers and retailers in the $646 billion outdoor recreation industry with more than 1,200 member companies across the country. The outdoor industry supports more than 6.1 million American jobs, provides $80 million every year in federal and state tax revenue and makes other significant contributions toward the goal of healthy communities and healthy economies across the United States.

In Montana, the outdoor recreation economy accounts for $5.8 billion in consumer spending, 64,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in wages and salaries, and $403 million in state and local tax revenue.

“Governor Bullock has been a longtime champion for Montana’s outdoor industry businesses that support more than 64,000 good paying jobs here,” said Lee Fromson, Executive Vice President, Simms Fishing Products and former OIA board chair. “He works hard every day for all Montanans, but Governor Bullock is also a fighter for Montana’s land and water, the foundation of the outdoor recreation economy in our state, and has a plan for Montana to build on that legacy. We are particularly excited by his emphasis on improving access, keeping public lands public, and the creation of an Office of Outdoor Recreation.”

In addition to being a strong proponent of public lands, Governor Bullock is an avid outdoorsman himself with a particular knack for supporting small business.

“I worked with Governor Steve Bullock and the Montana Wilderness Association on the launch of a new on line Montana Hiking Guide and I was a member of his Montana Main Street Project that is working to grow and enhance Montana’s small business, said Scott Brown, owner of The Basecamp outdoor retail shop in Helena and Billings. “Governor Bullock is keenly aware of the importance of public lands both to Montana’s residents, our visitors and to our economy. Governor Bullock is a strong supporter of both Montana’s wild public lands and our many small businesses.”

“Montana is of growing importance as a hub of the outdoor recreation industry and it is important to have leadership that recognizes the benefits the industry can bring to the state,” said OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts. “Governor Bullock is one of those leaders, ensuring that Montanans enjoy both a healthy community and vibrant economy.”