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White House Exempts Guides From Minimum Wage Mandate

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Trump’s executive order aims to ease financial burdens on outfitters and guides operating on federal lands.

On Friday, just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, President Trump relaxed minimum wage requirements originally set forth by President Obama in 2014. The move came as the 2018 camp season unofficially kicked off – and, with it, the peak business time for contractors working on federal lands.

The “Executive Order on Exemption from Executive Order 13658 for Recreational Services on Federal Lands” frees outfitters and guides from the federal $10.10 minimum wage requirement currently in place.

“These individuals often conduct multiday recreational tours through Federal lands, and may be required to work substantial overtime hours,” wrote President Trump in the order. “The implementation of Executive Order 13658 threatens to raise significantly the cost of guided hikes and tours on Federal lands, preventing many visitors from enjoying the great beauty of America’s outdoors.”

Trump Exempts Guides & Outfitters From Minimum Wage

The move exempts guides and outfitters. But lodging and food service businesses operating on federal lands will remain under the minimum wage requirement.

“The President’s Executive Order, ‘Exemption from Executive Order 13658 for Recreational Services on Federal Lands,’ gives more flexibility to small guides and outfitters that operate in National Parks and other public lands,” said Secretary Zinke. “The order will have a positive effect on rural economies and American families, allowing guides and outfitters to bring tourists out on multi-day hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping expeditions, without enduring costly burdens.”

According to the order, the exemption applies to “seasonal recreational services” and equipment rental. Specifically, the order lists river running, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, mountaineering activities, recreational ski services, and youth camps among those services.

“Because we are in the backcountry 24/7 and on duty much or all of that time, Executive Order 13658 was ill-conceived for businesses who cannot bring on a second or third shift to control overtime,” said David Brown, Vice President, America Outdoors Association (AMO), a national association of outfitters and guides.

In addition to the AMO, organizations like Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, Professional Outfitters and Guides of America, and the American Sportfishing Association applauded the move.

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