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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

BigTent Admin

Legislative Session Recap

Big Tent

Anticipating a tough budget year, the Big Tent Outdoor Recreation Coalition started off the year with a strong legislative agenda. Just like a “normal” session, many of our members were regulars in committee hearings and legislator meetings, speaking up for the benefits of outdoor recreation. The Big Tent organized a successful virtual Legislative Celebration event in March, which saw fantastic attendance from Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, several senators and representatives, retiring RCO Director Kaleen Cottingham, new State Parks Director Pete Mayer, and State Parks Commissioner Sophia Dannenberg. Our own ex-officio board member Owen Rowe said it was the best Zoom meeting he’s been on this session – high praise indeed! And then as draft budgets came out in April, we sent out a letter to the capital and operating budget leads asking them to robustly fund our outdoor recreation priorities.

Our coalition’s work paid off, and we ended session with strong support for our state public lands agencies, and near record funding for key programs like the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) and the No Child Left Inside (NCLI) grant program. The Legislature made important investments in equitable access for outdoor recreation, funding several new programs to help ensure that all communities have the opportunity to experience the benefits of nature. Big Tent members fought to protect all dedicated accounts supported by recreation user fees, a core tenet of our coalition. Others notched big wins by passing bills to support the outdoor recreation economy, like HB 1107 (a new law aimed at bolstering the boating economy by attracting superyachts) and SB 5016 (allowing more Washingtonians to enjoy winter recreation by allowing tracked ATVs and UTVs to use the state’s groomed snowmobile trails).  

Big Tent members should feel very good about our work this session – the future of outdoor recreation in Washington is bright! If you haven’t already, please take a moment to drop your legislators a note of thanks. Here’s one easy way to do that. We plan to carry this momentum forward by taking legislators out on our public lands this summer, and gearing up to advocate for even bigger investments next session. If you haven’t already, please help us continue to speak up for the outdoors by renewing your membership or becoming a member! Thanks for your support of the Big Tent.

Betsy Robblee (pronouns: she/her/hers)
President, Big Tent Outdoor Recreation Coalition
Conservation & Advocacy Director | The Mountaineers
betsyr@mountaineers.org | 206-521-6012

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Washington State's Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

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