Patagonia, L.L. Bean, North Face call for relief to 'get Americans outside'

Patagonia, L.L. Bean, North Face call for relief to 'get Americans outside'
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Outdoor industry companies including Patagonia, L.L. Bean and North Face called on Congress to invest in recreation infrastructure to help with the industry's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 60 companies, led by the Outdoor Industry Association, wrote a letter to congressional leadership on Monday urging them to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and for the maintenance backlog of federal public lands. 

“Our system of parks and public lands being open for public use is critical for small and large retailers and outdoor businesses, along with the supply chain that serves them. Plus, these natural places bring quality of life to communities across the nation. Every part of this system has been interrupted by COVID-19, impacting the health and wellness of individuals, companies, and communities,” the groups wrote.

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The letter also calls for Congress to prioritize transportation funding, infrastructure policies that reduce carbon emissions, and funding to the Civilian Conservation Corps to address rising unemployment by having people work on public lands, among other issues. 

The letter said that many companies in the industry were able to benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program but now need more assistance.

“As we look to recovery in the months ahead, more needs to be done to help our communities and the outdoor industry recover from the current economic shock through investments in recreation infrastructure which will provide more opportunities for all Americans to get outside,” the groups wrote.

Other companies on the letter include REI, Columbia, Burton, Western Spirit Cycling, Tahoe Mountain Sports, Mammoth Lakes Recreation and Boulders Climbing Gym.