Earlier this year, Minnesota created an Outdoor Recreation Task Force under the joint direction of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Explore Minnesota. The Task Force is charged with developing a set of recommendations for the Minnesota DNR and Explore Minnesota on how to more effectively coordinate and advance outdoor recreation work statewide. Members of the Task Force represent a broad swath of outdoor recreation interests in the state, including boating industry members Matt Gruhn, President of MRAA and J.R. Burke, Director of State Government Affairs at Polaris Industries.
At the Task Force meeting this week, NMMA’s Great Lakes Policy and Engagement Manager Jill Sims presented on the boating industry’s efforts to establish Offices of Outdoor Recreation (OREC) in states across the country. Sims has served as co-chair of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s (ORR) State Policy Committee since 2019, helping lead the coalition’s 32 national outdoor industry groups representing more than 110,000 businesses and the full spectrum of activities from skiing to hunting, climbing, fishing, diving, off-roading, boating, RVing, and more in this effort.
Sims was joined in the presentation by colleagues with expertise in different areas of outdoor recreation and in-depth experience leading or working alongside offices of outdoor recreation across the country, including:
- Ashley Brinkman, Legislative Analyst at RV Industry Association & co-chair of ORR’s State Policy Committee
- Brad Garmon, Director of the Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry
- Cailin O’Brien-Feeney, Director of the Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation
- Lindsey Davis, Vice President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and member of the Utah Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee
- Bevin Ann Buchheister, Senior Policy Analyst at the National Governors Associations Energy, Infrastructure, and Environment Division
Minnesota is well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities the Outdoor Recreation Task Force recommends as outdoor recreation accounts for 2.7 percent of Minnesota’s economy, supports 101,000 jobs across the state, and contributes $9.6 billion to Minnesota’s economy. NMMA applauds the commitment Minnesota is making to support the continued growth of the outdoor recreation economy through the Outdoor Recreation Task Force.