RVs will be featured at a forum hosted by the U.S. Department of Interior in cooperation with the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) in downtown Washington, D.C., Sept. 15, according to a news release from the Recreation vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Winnebago Industries Inc. will provide its new high-mileage Class A Via motorhome for tours by government officials including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. RVIA President Richard Coon will join ARC President Derrick Crandall to brief the secretaries on RV travel and innovations as they tour the motorhome.
The Via is the first Class A motorhome built on the imported Dodge/Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis.
The event will include remarks by LaHood and Salazar, who are expected to speak about the continued popularity, importance and benefits of outdoor activities on public lands including RVing in this economy. They are expected to recognize RV product innovations, which will be represented by the green RV on display, as part of a more eco-friendly, fuel- and cost-efficient RV industry taking shape.
“This is going to be a tremendous opportunity to share our industry’s story with two key officials in the Obama Administration,” said Coon. “Secretary Salazar already is familiar with RVing, having spent almost two weeks traveling through Colorado in a motorhome during the 2008 presidential campaign. He also understands that jobs in factories in Indiana and elsewhere depend upon the public being interested in visiting parks and other places, and being welcomed there to enjoy outdoor recreation.”
“Secretary LaHood heads an agency that is vitally important to the RV industry,” he continued. “The Transportation Department is now leading the way to help promote livability in our communities, protecting and expanding our ability to move to and from where we live, work and play. Their programs have also increased the public’s access to America’s Great Outdoors with a vast network of federally-aided roads, from Interstates to scenic byways.”
The Department of Interior forum, “Stimulating Economic Vitality and Resource Conservation in Gateway and Tribal Communities,” will focus on how to balance the need for economic growth with conservation and protection of natural resources during a time of severe economic challenge. Attendees will include leaders from gateways and tribes, state and local governments, the tourism and recreation industries, and federal lands and other agencies whose policies have an effect on these communities.