Nevada Lawmakers Propose Office of Outdoor Recreation
20 Feb, 2019By: Michael Popke
As a new legislative session opened in Nevada the first week of February, lawmakers were expected to address a request by conservation activists to create a state-level Office of Outdoor Recreation to protect public lands and support businesses that depend on those lands.
As reported by the Public News Service, a 2018 study revealed that Nevada’s outdoor industry supported 87,000 jobs and generated $12.6 billion in consumer spending and $4 billion in tax revenue. A dozen other states already have such an office, including Colorado — which, as a result, has attracted the high-profile series of Outdoor Retailer shows to Denver.
“We are one of the few states in the West without an Office of Outdoor Recreation, and we’re already losing ground to states such as Colorado. We could be doing much more to strategically draw more visitors, investors and job creators to our state,” Mauricia M.M. Baca, executive director of Get Outdoors Nevada, wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journalin January. “Gov. Steve Sisolak and the Legislature have the opportunity to study what others have done and improve upon it, highlighting the Silver State as an outdoor destination gem while strengthening our economy.”
A bill to create an Office of Outdoor Recreation is in development, according to PNS, and discussions are ongoing between the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Lieutenant Governor’s office regarding how to balance conservation with economic development.