This week, New Hampshire announced the creation of the nation’s 16th office of outdoor recreation (OREC). The New Hampshire Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development will be housed in the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs.
The bill to create an OREC carried bipartisan support and eventually got folded into the state’s two-year budget. In late June, Governor Sununu vetoed the budget, leaving lawmakers a three-month stopgap period to find compromise with the governor. The legislature and the governor then reached an agreement on a $13 billion package, which included the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development.
“New Hampshire’s low-tax environment and booming economy are a beacon for business in the Northeast,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This office will allow us to better leverage the tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities we have here in the Granite State not only to grow the industry but attract the workforce of the future.”
“As a New Hampshire-based outdoor company, Nemo is thrilled the state will join the growing movement of creating outdoor recreation offices across the nation,” said Cam Brensinger, founder and CEO of NEMO Equipment, and member of the board of directors for Outdoor Industry Association. “Outdoor recreation accounts for 2.2 percent of the nation’s GDP, and here in New Hampshire, outdoor recreation generates $8.7 billion in consumer spending and supports 79,000 jobs. I look forward to working with the New Hampshire OREC director to grow our state’s industry and economy, promote the social and health benefits of outdoor recreation, and inspire new generations to access the many benefits of going outside.”
Throughout 2019, OIA made lobby visits to Concord, New Hampshire, organized letters of support for the OREC, and worked with NEMO Equipment, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Northern Forest Center, and others to place op-eds and ensure that the diverse voices of support from the outdoor industry and recreationists were heard.