The Outdoor Resources Review Group: Introduction


The Outdoor Resources Review Group (ORRG) is a private bipartisan panel reviewing conservation, outdoor recreation and related issues in light of changes in the needs of the American public and the resources available to meet those needs. Its membership includes a diverse set of policymakers and professionals with expertise in the management, provision, and value of outdoor resources. Honorary co-chairs Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Jeff Bingaman head the list of highly knowledgeable and respected individuals involved with the project.

The review is in the tradition of two prior landmark efforts—the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission of 1962 (ORRRC) and the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors of 1987. Those reports had a major impact on America’s effort to conserve and protect its outdoor heritage and were influential in raising the nation’s concern for parks, refuges and open space at local and state levels. As a new administration takes office, it is important to keep issues related to outdoor resources before decisionmakers to ensure that land conservation remains high on the American policy agenda. One of the primary goals of the ORRG is to determine whether or not a third Presidential Commission is warranted and to consider the potential next steps of such a Commission.

Resources for the Future (RFF) is providing analysis to inform the review. RFF’s research will examine trends in recreational land use and new issues affecting recreation, conservation, and open space. The National Geographic Society and the Conservation Fund are also cooperating in this effort.

The new review is assessing results to-date in conserving our outdoor heritage as well as designing new programs and initiatives for the 21st century. It is examining broad trends associated with conservation and recreation, taking into account issues unique to specific settings, such as urban areas and Western lands. Emerging concerns such as health, children and the outdoors, and climate change will be given particular attention. The record of experience with private land conservation will be examined, as will funding issues at the federal, state, and local level.

For more information about ORRG and the RFF study, please send an email to