RELEASE: States and Their Outdoor Recreation Offices Should Adopt Conservation and Access Policies to Boost Local Economies, CAP Report Finds

Washington, D.C. — A growing number of states are opening offices of outdoor recreation as a tool to boost a sector that helps drive the economy and protects land and water, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

Since 2013, at least 13 states have created these offices to lead the way in crafting creative policies to support outdoor recreation. This month, Nevada became the latest state to create an office of outdoor recreation dedicated to improving the state’s outdoor economy.

From Washington and Oregon to North Carolina and Maine, these states are embracing their outdoor assets, growing their economies, and becoming healthier, more desirable places to visit and live, the report finds. In order to improve this sector, the report recommends that states focus on further conserving lands and assuring equitable access to protected lands and waters by:

  • Creating new public outdoor spaces
  • Increasing access to state trust lands
  • Improving access to rivers, streams and coastal areas
  • Providing grants for getting kids and underserved communities outside
  • Supporting state conservation corps
  • Creating dedicated funding programs

“As communities around the country seek to develop sustainable, diverse economies that are less tied to the boom and bust cycle of extractive industries, outdoor recreation offers a promising path to prosperity,” said Jenny Rowland-Shea, senior policy analyst for Public Lands at the Center for American Progress and author of the report. “States should embrace conservation and access as the primary tools to drive their outdoor recreation economies.”

Read the report: “Policies to Boost State Outdoor Recreation Economies” by Jenny Rowland-Shea.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at  or 202.478.6327.