Indiana Legislature passes resolution toward outdoor recreation office

Last week, the Indiana House of Representatives passed Senate Concurrent Resolution #15, which urges the creation of an Indiana Office of Outdoor Recreation Development.

The resolution, sponsored by State Senator Blake Doriot, outlines the priorities for the Office of Outdoor Recreation Development and encourages the office to be established within the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC), which is led by president Elaine Bedel. The priorities for the office include increasing outdoor recreation-based economic development, tourism, and ecotourism; promoting the growth of the outdoor recreation economy; and promoting the health and social benefits of outdoor recreation. Now that the resolution has passed both bodies, it is up to IDDC to determine if the office will be established.

Outdoor recreation is a vital part of the economy, accounting for 2.2% of total gross domestic product (GDP) nationally. In Indiana, outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse, which generates an economic impact of $9.7 billion in consumer spending and accounts for 108,000 jobs across the state. The recreational boating industry in Indiana accounts for $4.1 billion in economic impact annually and 14,265 jobs and 398 businesses.

NMMA said it actively advocates in support of the creation of state outdoor recreation offices, a key objective of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). ORR is the nation’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade association with 29 members. NMMA said it will continue to work with key stakeholders and policymakers in Indiana to move towards establishment of an office of outdoor recreation.

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