REMARKS AS PREPARED
Office of Outdoor Recreation Bill Signing (HB 3350)
October 20, 2017
Good afternoon. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Three Sisters and the high desert plateaus, Bend is the perfect place to sign into law HB 3350 establishing Oregon’s Office of Outdoor Recreation.
Oregonians share a special connection to the outdoors. It’s at the core of who we are.
Whether it’s kayaking along the Willamette River, hiking through the Little North Santiam Trail, or skiing at Mt. Bachelor—venturing outdoors is not just good for our physical health, it’s part of what keeps me grounded.
That’s part of the reason why Oregon is home to several, outdoor retail and recreation companies whose products are renowned for their quality and are on the cutting-edge of innovation.
Some 20,000 Oregonians are employed by Oregon’s athletic and outdoor industry, which contributes over $3 billion directly to working families.
Entrepreneurs and talented employees with a deep passion for the outdoors are drawn to our communities. Bend and Central Oregon, with Mt. Bachelor, the Smith Rock, and many other attractions, are major decisions that support world-class talent.
Entre Prises is a great example of this. They’ve been here in Bend since 1985, and they’ve built products for customers across North America, including REI, the City of Redmond, and for Oregon State Parks and Rec. Entre Prises today employs nearly 50 people who take pride in living here and sharing Oregon’s love for the outdoors across the country.
Thanks to HB 3350, the newly created Office of Outdoor Recreation will help share this love of the outdoors to more Oregonians.
The Office of Outdoor Recreation will coordinate the state’s outdoor recreation policy across state and federal agencies. The office will work with public agencies, as well as outdoor recreation retailers, companies, and tour operators, to help Oregon’s outdoor recreation sector reaches its fullest potential.
The creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation and success of HB 3350 was made possible thanks to many of you here today, including:
● Rep. Ken Helm
● Rep. John Huffman
● REI’s John Creekmore
● Keen’s Chris Enlow, and
● Lee Davis and Adam Baylor with Mazamas.
I also want to acknowledge others who were key to launching the Office of Outdoor Recreation, including:
● The Oregon Outdoor Alliance
● American Whitewater
● Travel Oregon
● Oregon Parks and Recreation, and
● Business Oregon
In addition to launching the Office of Outdoor Recreation, sharing our individual stories and passion for the outdoors will help connect new generations to Oregon’s natural wonders.
To help do just that, my partner, Dan, is spearheading a new initiative to connect more Oregonians to the outdoors— particularly those who typically don’t venture out to Oregon’s stunning beaches, trails, mountains, and sand dunes.
Dan is helping to chart a new roadmap to the outdoors. To kick-off this effort, we’re convening an outdoor symposium this February to identify non-traditional outdoor enthusiasts, determine barriers to the outdoors, and develop solutions to expand access to more Oregonians.
Outdoor recreation businesses, tour operators, organizations and individual outdoor adventurers interested and involved in connecting Oregonians to the outdoors are encouraged to attend. I hope you’ll join us February 15.
Again, thank you for being here to celebrate the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation. As we work to launch the office in the coming months, your insights, support, and passion for the outdoors will be key to getting the office up and running.