Schumer visits Canandaigua reveals Rural Outdoor Investment Act

CANANDAIGUA, NY — The way US Sen. Charles E. Schumer sees it, providing a boost to outdoor recreation in the Finger Lakes is also a way of supporting Main Street businesses – particularly those in rural downtowns – and accelerating the region’s economic recovery.

Schumer on Thursday visited Canandaigua and revealed his new Rural Outdoor Investment Act, which capitalizes on the newfound demand for outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This creates a unique opportunity for the federal government to invest in local economies, like those in small rural Finger Lakes areas, by investing in their natural outdoor resources to create jobs and new economic growth, Schumer said in a statement.

This is why Schumer said it’s worth the investment. In the Finger Lakes, visitors spent over $152 million on pre-pandemic recreation, contributing to the region’s $3.3 billion tourism industry, which generates over $990 million in direct labor income for over 41,000 jobs.

“Our waters and natural landscape are the beating heart of the Finger Lakes, and the federal government should recognize that investing in outdoor recreation is investing in the future of these rural and scenic communities,” Schumer stated.

How it works

The legislation focuses on three core areas to promote growth in the outdoor recreation economy in places like the Finger Lakes.

Outdoor recreation infrastructure could see $150 million over five years for public works, through the Economic Development Administration, for assets like boat ramps, trails, campgrounds and other outdoor facilities.

Schumer also highlighted the US Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives program, which was funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and through which New York is expected to receive an estimated $289 million over five years to run a competitive grant program. This could help fund trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, and greenways, strengthening downtowns by allowing for tourists and residents to more easily flow between areas and enjoy outdoor recreation.

Leave a Comment