Minnesota Creates Outdoor Recreation Task Force

The state of Minnesota’s announced an Outdoor Recreation Task Force (ORTF) to study and identify economic and participation opportunities around the state’s robust outdoor recreation resources. The effort to create the task force was jointly pursued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Explore Minnesota and was supported by many Minnesota outdoor recreation businesses – from boating and fishing to hunting and paddling.

The task force will consist of 20 seats and be announced in January. Proponents of the task force say Minnesota is well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities the Outdoor Recreation Task Force will create because outdoor recreation already 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

“The outdoor recreation community has worked collectively before to make great strides, but Minnesota’s announcement of an Outdoor Recreation Task Force is a stunning example of our sector working together with the state to create real support for the growing outdoor recreation economy in Minnesota,” said Jessica Wahl, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “Time and time again we have seen how states with offices of outdoor recreation are better able to leverage their existing outdoor recreation businesses and resources into attracting even more outdoor businesses while increasing the overall recreation economy in those states. ORR is proud of the role our members played in working together to create a task force in Minnesota and thrilled to provide continued support for this effort.”

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We applaud Minnesota’s decision to further strengthen the state’s growing outdoor recreation economy by forming of the Outdoor Recreation Task Force,” said Patricia Rojas-Ungar, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) vice president of government affairs. “This effort sets Minnesota on a path to play an even larger role in advancing the stewardship of its public lands, nurturing the economic development of its recreation assets and increasing access to the great outdoors for its residents and visitors.”

“With this announcement, Minnesota becomes the 17th state to create either a task force or recreation office dedicated to maximizing the social and economic benefits of time outdoors,” said Marc Berejka, director of government and community affairs for REI Co-op.  “The movement now covers over a third of our 50 states, so congratulations to the legislators and agencies that have helped reach that milestone.”

Minnesota will select 20 task force members through an online application process on the DNR’s website at www.mndnr.gov/ORTF. Applications are due January 10, 2020. Anyone with questions about the application process can find contact information on the website.