Image Alt Text

The mission  of the Big Tent  is to promote sustainable, diverse, equitable, and inclusive outdoor experiences in Washington state through advocacy and education.

#RecreateResponsibly to Protect Yourself, Others, and the Outdoors

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches. [ LEARN MORE ]



We Represent Outdoor Recreation

A Costume Climbing Tradition: Anywhere, Anytime

The Mountaineers

In this feature from Mountaineer magazine, read about the Mother's Day tradition, taking fabulously-dressed climbers to summits around the PNW. One of the Pacific Northwest’s grand traditions - a right of passage for many aspiring mountaineers - is climbing Mt. St. Helens, in a dress, on Mother’s Day. Inspired by the famous 1987 red dress of Kathy Phibbs, photographed and featured on the cover of the Seattle Times, thousands of aspiring summiteers flock to the flanks of Helens each May, donning their Sunday best. But as the tradition has grown and permits have become more restricted, many are taking their dress-game elsewhere.


BREAKING: Outdoor Recreation Contributes Over $1 Trillion to the U.S. Economy

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Association

Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, released national and state economic data showcasing the incredible year the outdoor recreation economy had in 2022. This analysis demonstrates outdoor recreation’s powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy and jobs as the nation continued to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and Americans continued to prioritize time outside. 

These new government data show outdoor recreation generated $1.1 trillion in economic output, comprised 2.2% of U.S. GDP, and supported 5 million jobs — 3.2% of all employees in the country. “If there’s one thing to take away from today’s BEA presentation it’s this: the state of the outdoor recreation economy is strong, and sustained investment in outdoor recreation and our shared public lands and waters pays dividends for our local and national economies and quality of life,” said Jessica Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “Our industry continues to provide benefits to communities across the country — big, small, urban, and rural alike. To ensure that this success is sustainable and that our public lands and waters will continue to be accessible to all Americans for generations to come, we will continue to work together with leaders on the passage of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act by the end of this year. We are thrilled to once again see the data reflect what we hear every day, that outdoor recreation is not a nice to have — but a necessity for healthy people, places, and economies." [See the new data]

REI Cooperative Action Fund Invests $4 Million in Nonprofits Working to Create a More Equitable Outdoors

The REI Cooperative Action Fund is announcing a $4 million investment in 40 nonprofit organizations collectively creating a more equitable outdoors. This investment includes the addition of 18 new organizations to the Fund’s growing nationwide network of nonprofit partners, as well as renewed support for 22 existing partners. As a community-supported nonprofit, the Fund is fueled by donations from REI Co-op, its customers, members, and employees, as well as corporate partners, and foundations. Since the Fund’s launch in 2021, more than 800,000 people have donated.

Fire Restrictions Lifted on Most WDFW - Managed Land

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today it will lift its campfire and other remaining fire restrictions on most Department-managed lands starting today, Sept. 29. “We have seen major decreases in the fire danger statewide since last week as the recent round of storms came through this past weekend,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW’s lands division manager. “We know folks are eager to enjoy the outdoors this fall season and are pleased to be able to repeal these restrictions today. Fire danger remains high in the White Salmon and Chelan areas, but most eastside areas have moved from high to moderate and remains low in Blue Mountains due to recent rain events.”


Statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plans provide a blueprint for outdoor recreation management and development at the state level

NATIONWIDE – The Confluence of States and Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals released the first-ever Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) Comparison Report. This report compares SCORPs to each other, shares differences and/or similarities, and raises the visibility of each plan's impact on a community. SCORPs are critical for ensuring the availability and sustainability of outdoor recreation resources. This report is for members of the outdoor recreation community including SCORP leaders who want to learn what other states are doing.

Urge Congress to pass the Biking on Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act

The Biking on Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act will identify at least 10 existing long-distance bike trails and identify at least 10 areas where there is opportunity to develop or complete such trails. The bill will also allow the Department of Interior to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and distribute promotional materials.

You won't believe who's behind this popular social media account

Evening News

OLYMPIA, Wash. — These days, most companies rely on a good social media presence. And the team that runs social for Washington's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is setting the bar. DNR manages nearly 6 million acres of forests, waters, and habitat. And on its social media pages, learning about it is more interesting than ever. With funny, clever, and creative posts, the DNR Twitter account has more than 140,000 followers; and Instagram and TikTok are growing in popularity quickly. "It was 'treat hydration the way you treat dating, don't wait until you're thirsty!'  We were like, 'Should we do it, should we not do it?" explained Terlep, the senior social media manager for DNR. "I've never expected people to be this excited about their state agency, their state natural resources agency. We're talking about things like geologic hazards, forestry, and wildfire safety," Terlep explained. "The funny parts are great, but when people take those actionable items and apply it to their lives, so they learn something, that's the most rewarding part."


The Mountaineers

We are excited to share our new Emotional Safety in the Outdoors eLearning course. One of the unwritten core values at The Mountaineers is safety, and this new course highlights the connections between emotional safety and physically safe outcomes. It's designed to help leaders and instructors foster environments where all people feel belonging.



Washington State's Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

View the 2020 Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State for details