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HB 3350 – Office of Outdoor Recreation

March 31, 2017

To: House Committee on Economic Development and Trade

Chair, the Honorable Ann Lininger
Vice-Chair, the Honorable Pam Marsh
Vice-Chair, the Honorable David Brock Smith
The Honorable Brian Clem
The Honorable David Gomberg
The Honorable Ken Helm
The Honorable Rick Lewis
The Honorable Bill Post
The Honorable E. Werner Reschke

RE: Support for HB 3350 – Office of Outdoor Recreation

Chair Lininger and Members of the Committee:

The Bend Chamber of Commerce is writing you in support of HB 3350 for an Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department as well as an Advisory Council and Fund in Oregon. Creating this office recognizes the credibility of our outdoor industry as a resource, shows our commitment of investment as a state and establishes avenues to continually improve and sustain overall recreation-related opportunities.

Bend and Central Oregon are brimming with outdoor recreation opportunities and have become home to a burgeoning local industry including, establishment of the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA), Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW) and local companies such as Hydro Flask, Ruffwear, KIALOA Paddles and more. Not only do they provide jobs and economic value to the region, they rely on partners who will collaborate on the sustainability and management of our outdoor recreation assets, like public lands, while helping promote responsible yet equitable use.

With this office, the policy voice of this industry will be strengthened at the state and federal levels and help leverage assets with agencies across jurisdictions and sectors, especially through the addition of an Advisory Council. To this, the Bend Chamber supported the U.S. Outdoor Recreation Economic Contributions Act to demonstrate the strong local business and community support for federal recognition of the outdoor economy and its contributions to the country.

We urge you to please support the unique needs of our economic and environmental landscape in Oregon with the passage of HB 3350 for an Office of Outdoor Recreation. This policy outlet legitimizes Oregon’s outdoor industry as an economic driver, addresses advocacy efforts across different sectors and helps promote the health and social benefits of outdoor recreation.

 

Katy Brooks
CEO
Bend Chamber of Commerce

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