Outdoor Recreation Industry Office Bill Moves Forward Unanimously

Bill would create an office to oversee and coordinate outdoor recreation industry matters

DENVER, CO– The House Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Committee today advanced Representative Barbara McLachlan’s bipartisan bill to create the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office in the Office of Economic Development. The bill passed committee by a vote of 10-0.

“Outdoor recreation is critical for local economies across Colorado, and this new office would ensure that this economic driver continues to grow sustainably,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “It’s crucial that we strike a balance between supporting this job-creating industry while also protecting the beautiful public lands where we all love to recreate. This bill would create an office dedicated to doing just that.”

HB21-1223 would formally create the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office in the Office of Economic Development. The Office was formed by the governor in 2015, and this bill would cement the Office in statute and outline the Office’s specific responsibilities and objectives. 

HB21-1223, which is also sponsored by Representative Matt Soper, R-Delta, calls for the cultivation, promotion, and coordinated development of the outdoor recreation industry in Colorado and for the protection and conservation of public lands, waters, air, and climate. It directs the Office to help address some of the inequities preventing underserved communities from engaging in the recreation opportunities available throughout the state. It calls on the state to partner with the outdoor recreation industry to ensure that the industry serves as a good steward of Colorado’s natural beauty. The Office would support the outdoor recreation industry in Colorado by working with state, federal, local governments and nongovernmental organizations to promote economic development, conservation, stewardship, education, workforce training, and public health and wellness.