Minnesota will create an Outdoor Recreation Task Force (ORTF) to study and identify economic and participation opportunities around the state’s robust outdoor recreation resources. The effort to create the task force was jointly pursued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Explore Minnesota and was supported by many Minnesota outdoor recreation businesses—from boating and fishing to hunting and paddling.
Minnesota is well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities the Outdoor Recreation Task Force will create because outdoor recreation already accounts for 2.7 percent of Minnesota’s economy, supports 101,000 jobs across the state, and contributes $9.6 billion to Minnesota’s economy.
“This represents a great moment for the State of Minnesota, by recognizing and giving a voice to the $9.6 billion economic impact of outdoor recreation and the more than 100,000 jobs it creates in the state,” said Matt Gruhn, president, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “Led by boating and fishing, our robust outdoor industry is eager to join together to ensure Minnesota is leading the nation when it comes to supporting and growing our outdoor recreation system and economy.”
“With this announcement, Minnesota becomes the 17th state to create either a task force or recreation office dedicated to maximizing the social and economic benefits of time outdoors,” said Marc Berejka, director of government and community affairs for REI Co-op, the nation’s largest consumer cooperative. “The movement now covers over a third of our 50 states, so congratulations to the legislators and agencies that have helped reach that milestone.” He added, “Access to nature is good for our individual wellbeing and the wellbeing of our communities. Stewarding the outdoors is good for the planet and is essential to a sustainable, 21st century economy. We look forward to working with the task force to help cultivate all of those outcomes across Minnesota.”
Minnesota will select 20 task force members through an online application process on the DNR’s website at www.mndnr.gov/ORTF. Applications are due January 10, 2020. Anyone with questions about the application process can find contact information on the website.