WASHINGTON — The outdoor recreation industry accounted for an estimated 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product last year — with $374 billion in economic activity — according to a government report out Wednesday.

“We’ll be able to show that we have government-backed data that talks about the importance of investing in recreation,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of the Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association.

That comes into play, she added, when policymakers are considering “whether to allow mining or whether to allow energy exploration or whether to set aside an area for recreation.”

“Outdoor recreation is a driving force behind Colorado’s economy, which is why this report is so important,” said [Republican U.S. Sen. Cory] Gardner in a statement. “I look forward to reviewing the findings and know this data will be used by industry leaders and policymakers moving forward.”

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