Recreation in Politics – Hillary Clinton

Election Decision

This is the second article of two that address what I can discover about positions of the major party candidates that relate to outdoor recreation.  In this article, I’ll discuss  Hillary Clinton’s positions and the positions of the Democratic party.

Hillary Clinton Campaign

Hillary ClintonWhile Mr. Trump addresses seven topics and offers his positions on them.  Ms Clinton addresses 37 topics with her positions.  Plus, she incorporates additional position papers and speeches on a variety of topics.  The main topics are fairly general and none are specifically about outdoor recreation.

Access to the Outdoors

In a  briefing paper associated with the topic of climate change  Clinton says she wants to: “Renew our shared commitment to the conservation of our disappearing lands, waters, and wildlife, to the preservation of our history and culture, and to expanding access to the outdoors for all Americans.”

Gun Control

While Mr. Trump and the Republican party have made strong statements in opposition to gun control of any kind,  Ms Clinton suggests that the nation:

  • Expand background checks to more gun sales—including by closing the gun show and internet sales loopholes—and strengthen the background check system by getting rid of the so-called “Charleston Loophole.”  [Note:  This is in reference to the Charleston shooting, where a gunman killed nine people in a church, and the law allowing federally licensed dealers to sell firearms after a three-day waiting period for a background check.  In the Charleston case,  however, the gunman got the gun due to a clerical error rather than insufficient time to complete the background check.  Regardless,  he was sold the gun without a background check.]
  • Take on the gun lobby by removing the industry’s sweeping legal protection for illegal and irresponsible actions (which makes it almost impossible for people to hold them accountable), and revoking licenses from dealers who break the law.
  • Keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill by supporting laws that stop domestic abusers from buying and owning guns, making it a federal crime for someone to intentionally buy a gun for a person prohibited from owning one, and closing the loopholes that allow people suffering from severe mental illness to purchase and own guns. She will also support work to keep military-style weapons off our streets.

She also says: “I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets. We may have our disagreements on gun safety regulations, but we should all be able to agree on a few things. If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked. You shouldn’t be able to exploit loopholes and evade criminal background checks by buying online or at a gun show. And yes, if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.”

Clearly these positions will be unacceptable to those that want to be armed enough to prevent the U.S. military or National Guard from turning on U.S. citizens, however they will have little effect on hunters except in cases where a hunter isn’t able to pass a background check.  As far as outdoor recreation, neither Mr. Trump’s or Ms Clinton’s positions on guns will have much effect.

Outdoor Industry

TentMs Clinton doesn’t address the outdoor industry specifically in her major positions, but she does address manufacturing.In the outdoor industry that includes all the gear you use when you recreate outdoors.  She wants to make “a $10 billion investment in ‘Make it in America’ partnerships that bring together workers and labor, business, universities, community colleges, and government at every level to harness the strength of manufacturing communities across America.”  She also wants tighter enforcement of trade rules that lead to unfair international competition with manufacturers in the U.S.  and a $12/hour minimum wage [Note: the party platform seeks a $15/hour minimum wage.]  It’s not clear how the combination of proposals would help the outdoor industry overall, but she does want to see U.S. manufacturing grow.

Public Lands

In her policy on protecting animals and wildlife she states that she will: “Protect wildlife in the United States by keeping public lands public—not auctioning them off to the highest bidder—and making more resources available to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who are taking steps to conserve our wildlife, lands, and waters.”  This is completely opposite of the policies suggested by Mr. Trump and the Republican party.  Regardless of the reason for keeping public lands public, they would remain available for outdoor recreation.

Rural Communities

Park BenchIn a speech associated with Rural Communities, Ms Clinton addresses some issues, mostly related to farming.  She does not discuss outdoor recreation and the relationship of rural communities to that major part of the nation’s economy.  Nonetheless, some of her concerns, like access to capital, could lead to a more vibrant rural manufacturing and outdoor recreation services sector of the economy.  Her positions on small business including access to capital, access to markets and general support and training would also benefit rural communities and rural firms that support outdoor recreation.

Conservation and Collaborative Stewardship of America’s Great Outdoors

Digging deeper into the campaign website,  I found a factsheet: Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Conservation and Collaborative Stewardship of America’s Great Outdoors.  According to the factsheet, she will:

  • Set a goal of doubling the size of the outdoor economy within 10 years, creating millions of new jobs and up to $700 billion dollars in new annual economic activity;
  • Celebrate the 100thanniversary of our country’s national park system – America’s “best idea” – by establishing an American Parks Trust Fund to scale up and modernize how we protect and enhance our country’s great outdoors;
  • Launch an initiative to restore and revitalize more than 3000 city parks within ten years;
  • Make public lands an engine of our clean energy economy through a ten-fold increase in renewable energy production on public lands and waters within ten years;
  • Expand access to public lands for hunting, fishing and recreation by making publicly accessible 50% of the public land that is currently inaccessible;
  • Combat our national water challenges, including through a new Water Innovation Lab and a Western Water Partnership.
  • Tell the story of all Americans in our parks: America’s national parks, memorials, and monuments should reflect the contributions of all Americans to our shared history and culture, yet communities of color, women, and LGBT Americans.
  • Fight efforts to turn public lands private
  • Protect and restore America’s forests. Hillary Clinton believes that restoring and protecting the health of America’s forests requires managing them for the full scope of benefits they provide. Clinton will work with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to set clear management goals that not only recognize the value of forests and public lands for sustainable timber, but for the carbon they absorb, the wildlife habitat they furnish, and the recreation opportunities and clean drinking water they supply.
  • Measure outdoor economic growth: While the outdoor recreation industry is one of country’s largest economic sectors, it is not explicitly captured in US government statistics. Clinton will direct the Department of Commerce to measure and track the economic contributions and jobs of the outdoor recreation industry for the first time, as it currently does for other key sectors.
  • Accelerate renewable energy project siting and development by encouraging wind and solar developments like offshore wind in public waters and projects on public lands involving wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass generation.  At the same time, stopping oil and gas development in the Arctic and Atlantic and reforming onshore oil, gas and coal leases the ensure taxpayers are getting fair deal.

With the exception of promoting renewable energy siting on public lands,  that could adversely affect outdoor recreation in some places, these policies generally support outdoor recreation.

Democratic Party Platform

Democrat DonkeyThe Democratic Party Platform was approved by the Platform Committee on July 9, 2016 and finalized on July 21.

Public Lands

The party platform echoes many of Ms Clinton’s positions related to public lands stating:

“Democrats believe in the conservation and collaborative stewardship of our shared natural heritage: the public lands and waterways, the oceans, Everglades, Great Lakes, the Arctic, and all that makes America’s great outdoors priceless. As a nation, we need policies and investments that will keep America’s public lands public, strengthen protections for our natural and cultural resources, increase access to parks and public lands for all Americans, protect native species and wildlife, and harness the immense economic and social potential of our public lands and waters.

“Democrats will work to establish an American Parks Trust Fund to help expand local, state, and national recreational opportunities, rehabilitate existing parks, and enhance America’s great outdoors—from our forests and coasts to neighborhood parks—so “America’s Best Idea” is held in trust for future generations, and all Americans can access and enjoy natural spaces. Democrats are committed to doubling the size of the outdoor economy, creating nearly hundreds of billions of dollars in new economic activity and millions of new jobs.

“Democrats will approach conservation of our public lands and waters in a way that reflects the diversity of our country, by actively engaging all Americans in the great outdoors and protecting natural landscapes and cultural sites that tell the story of America’s complex history. To help meet these goals, we will work to build a diverse workforce in agencies that manage America’s public lands, waters, and cultural sites.

“We oppose drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic coast, and believe we need to reform fossil fuel leasing on public lands. We will phase down extraction of fossil fuels from our public lands, 30 starting with the most polluting sources, while making our public lands and waters engines of the clean energy economy and creating jobs across the country. Democrats will work to expand the amount of renewable energy production on federal lands and waters, from wind in Wyoming to solar in Nevada.

“Democrats oppose efforts to undermine the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act to protect threatened and endangered species.”

Gun Control

In regard to guns,  the platform says:

“While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.”


Public Lands

Both the Republican and Democratic parties have established positions on public lands.  The Republican party supports allowing the states to manage the National Forests and suggests privatizing some, undefined, public lands.  The Democratic party wants to keep public lands public.

Gun Control

The Republican Party is opposed to gun control.  The Democratic party wants to close loopholes in background checks and limit the ability of dangerous people to get guns.  Neither of these policies should have much effect upon recreational hunting.

Outdoor Recreation Economy

Neither party or Mr. Trump seem aware of outdoor recreation as a major sector in the nation’s economy.  Ms Clinton, however seems fully aware and supportive of the outdoor recreation economy.


Overall,  but with an exception or two,  the Democraty party and Ms Clinton’s policies seem to me to generally supportive of outdoor recreation.The Republican Party’s positions seem to me to be generally hostile to outdoor recreation.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to outdoor recreation, the difference between the two parties and the two candidates are stark.  Regardless of where you stand and the weight you want to give to outdoor recreation, choosing the candidate you want to support on this topic should be simple.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out our article on the positions of Mr. Trump and the Republican party.

You are welcome to offer your comments below, on the website if you got this via email, but your voice would be more effective if aimed at your Senators and Representatives.  We are not going to recommend one candidate over another, but we do encourage you to vote.

Please Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

Pin It on Pinterest