While many are struggling with the high cost of fuel, heating oil, and everything shipped to market by trucks and trains, there is some good news to report, and that is that OHV recreation continues to grow and provide economic benefits for the nation as a whole. UTVs are growing in popularity, and manufacturers are spending big bucks on television and print media ads to attract new customers. Also today, Yamaha announced that its Outdoor Access Initiative supported efforts to rehabilitate OHV areas that have been impacted by wildfire, thus providing more OHV opportunities and the resulting increases in economic impact. Win-win: have big fun in your UTVs and contribute to the local, state and national economy while doing it!

On November 9, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) confirmed what many in the outdoor recreation community suspected: America’s entire outdoor recreation industry had a record-breaking year in 2021. According to the BEA, the new data shows that outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output and 4.5 million jobs (3% of employment), and inflation-adjusted gross domestic product for the outdoor recreation economy increased 18.9 percent last year, easily topping the 5.9 percent increase for the overall U.S. economy.

The BEA listed motorcycling and ATV riding (which includes side-by-sides) as the nation’s fourth largest “conventional outdoor recreation” activity for 2020-2021, with $8.1 billion in current-dollar value added for the economy – up from $7.3 billion the previous year. Snowmobiling (included in snow activities) had $2.2 billion in current-dollar value added, and Climbing/Hiking/Tent Camping had $5 billion in value added.

“To those of us in the powersports industry, these are not surprising numbers. We’ve seen outdoor recreation giving a real boost to America’s economy during the pandemic as more people throw a leg over a motorcycle or ATV, or get behind the wheel of a side-by-side to enjoy family time in the beautiful outdoors,” said Erik Pritchard, President and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “The BEA data confirms that communities large and small, from all corners of America, benefit from outdoor recreation. We’re proud to be part of the responsible recreators who are generating nearly a trillion dollars in economic value across the country.”

“These new numbers from the BEA demonstrate beyond a doubt exactly how the outdoor recreation industry has created a strong and resilient base for our country’s economy,” said Mike Passo, Executive Director of American Trails. “Trails of all stripes, including motorized, hiking, biking, equestrian, and water trails, form the base upon which the outdoor recreation economy is built. American Trails is proud of all that trails do for our country—they move hearts, people, communities, and economies.”

“Outdoor recreation has been a bright spot throughout the pandemic – and continues to show growth,” said Christine Jourdain, Executive Director of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations.  “The recent BEA data confirms what the outdoor recreation enthusiasts have known; life is better when you’re outdoors having fun with friends and family.”

On November 15, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable hosted a reception in the Kennedy Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building, to celebrate the data released by BEA. The event was well attended by representatives from the outdoor recreation community, members of Congress, and staff. Senators Manchin (D-WV), Heinrich (D-NM), and Braun (R-IN) spoke about their passion for outdoor recreation and the need for bipartisan efforts to advance outdoor recreation legislation. Additional speakers included Mark Keam, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration; Glenn Hughes, President, American Sportfishing Association; Luis Benitez, Vice President for Government Affairs and Global Impact, VF Corp; and J. Daryl Anthony, Director, Maryland Office of Outdoor Recreation.


UTV Action has participated in several Yamaha OAI volunteer events in the San Bernardino National Forest over the years.

Yamaha Motor Corporation announced today that Yamaha’s Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) contributed more than $116,000 in grant awards for the third quarter of 2022. This latest funding cycle showcases Yamaha OAI’s mission to protect, improve, and expand access to public land for motorized and outdoor recreation through projects that build, protect, and restore access to more than 40,000 acres and 600 miles of trail for motorized recreation.

“Two of the groups funded this quarter, TreadLightly! and the Wenatchee Valley TREAD, will use OAI grants to rehabilitate OHV trails and riding areas that have been shut down following destructive wildfires. It is gratifying to deliver essential resources that restore access to public lands for OHV riders to once again enjoy,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports marketing manager. “We encourage those who manage or ride trail systems and riding areas affected by closures and damage due to storms, fires, or otherwise, to reach out to us for similar support – Yamaha’s OAI funding can make an immediate impact and even serve to match funds for larger state and federal grants.”


Projects funded in the third quarter 2022 grant cycle include:

  • BlueRibbon Coalition (Labyrinth Rims/Gemini Bridges, UT)
  • Grand Lake Trail Grooming, Inc. (Grand Lake, CO)
  • The Great Outdoors Fund (Beasley Knob OHV Area, GA)
  • LANDS Foundation (Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area, CA)
  • Range Riders ATV Club (Len Hardy Memorial Trail, Itasca County, MN)
  • Tread Lightly! (Cinder Hills OHV Area, AZ)
  • Wenatchee Valley TREAD (Mad River Trail, Entiat, WA)


The application deadline for consideration in the final funding cycle for 2022 is December 15, 2022. Riding clubs, land stewardship associations, and public land managers are encouraged to work together with Yamaha dealers to identify projects and apply for support. Visit YamahaOAI.com for submission guidelines, the Yamaha OAI grant application form, answers to most popular questions about the program, and recaps of some typical projects for inspiration.

Yamaha OAI has contributed $5,000,000 on 400 projects across the USA to promote OHV recreation and the economy.

About the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

Since 2008, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has led the Powersports industry in supporting responsible access to our nation’s public lands for outdoor enthusiasts. With more than $5 million contributed to over 400 projects across the country, Yamaha has directly and indirectly supported thousands of miles of motorized recreation trails, maintained and rehabilitated riding and hunting areas, improved staging areas, supplied agricultural organizations with essential OHV safety education, built bridges over fish-bearing streams and partnered with local outdoor enthusiast communities across the country to improve access to public lands. Each quarter, Yamaha accepts applications from nonprofit or tax-exempt organizations including OHV riding clubs and associations, national, state and local public land-use agencies, outdoor enthusiast associations, and land conservation groups with an interest in protecting, improving, expanding, and/or maintaining access for safe, responsible, and sustainable public use.


Updated guidelines, application form, information, and news about the Outdoor Access Initiative are available at YamahaOAI.com. For specific questions about the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative, call the dedicated hotline at 1-877-OHV-TRAIL (877-648-8724), email [email protected], or write to:


Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

3065 Chastain Meadows Parkway, Bldg. 100

Marietta, GA 30066

Comments are closed.