Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative

Photo Credit: Chantal Anderson

For Oregonians, a strong connection to our great outdoors is in our DNA and is part of our identity. From hikers to anglers, mountain bikers to hunters, loggers to biologists, ranchers to miners, to outfitters, guides, mountain lodge operators and outdoor equipment producers, many of us rely on Oregon’s bountiful natural resources for our livelihoods and recreation.

Oregon’s bountiful natural resources are cornerstone to our legacy, our identity, and our economy. As an industry, outdoor recreation significantly impacts the well-being of Oregon’s economy, its communities, its residents and its natural resources. Developing a shared vision with a common agenda for how we focus our efforts to improve the outdoor recreation economy will ensure that our impacts are positive and inclusive of all.

This is the impetus for the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative, a statewide effort to bring together businesses, agencies, land managers, conservation groups and recreational user groups around the goal of expanding access to outdoor recreation and increasing the economic impact and sustainability of Oregon’s outdoor recreation economy.

Through a coordinated and collaborative effort, we will build capacity and synergy to expand outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and visitors, create sustainable economic vitality for Oregon’s communities and make Oregon a world-class outdoor recreation destination for all.

A FOUNDATION FOR STATEWIDE COLLABORATION

To jumpstart this initiative, Travel Oregon convened a leadership team comprised of 25 members that represent stakeholder groups from key sectors of the outdoor recreation economy.

Soon after beginning its work, the leadership team recognized that in order to impact the entire outdoor recreation economy, various facets need to be considered. As a result, the nine impact areas in the image below were identified as a way to develop a comprehensive vision along with strategies that recognize the interdependency of these aspects.

Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative_Nine Impact Areas

OREGON OUTDOOR RECREATION INITIATIVE PHASE ONE SUMMARY REPORT

In September 2017 Travel Oregon published a summary report to commemorate results of the initiative from June 2016 to August 2017. The summary report includes an overview of the timeline and process for launching the initiative and includes the final versions of the 15-Year vision, 5-Year outcomes and 2-Year strategies for expanding access to outdoor recreation and increasing the economic impact and sustainability of Oregon’s outdoor recreation industry.

Read the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative Phase One Summary Report.

PRIORITY STRATEGIES FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION

Ten of the 2-Year strategies for expanding outdoor recreation in Oregon have been prioritized for collective action and are the initial strategies that will be advanced through the Initiative between 2017 and 2019.

Review the Priority Strategies for Collective Action.

The priority strategies for collective action are those that garnered strong support from the leadership team and the community. They are strategic actions that we believe will lead us closer to achieving the vision for outdoor recreation and have lasting, meaningful impact. Ten criteria were applied to help determine Five-Year Outcomes and Two-Year Strategies, including:

  • Is it catalytic in nature?
  • Will it positively affect multiple impact areas?
  • Does it create focus for collection action?
  • Can it make significant progress within 1-3 years?

In the summer of 2017, the leadership team refined the vision and priority strategies and began to mobilize action teams to advance priority strategies. In August 2017, the leadership team developed a roadmap that outlines a timeline for getting action teams underway to support priority strategies, conveners for each and organizations interested in playing a supporting role. Six action teams will be launched during September-December 2017, with other action teams envisioned to follow.

NEXT STEPS

In July 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3350 that established an Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation housed within the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The passage of this bill was celebrated by the leadership team, as it was a top priority action strategy, and by many other advocates including the Outdoor Industry Association and affiliated businesses in the outdoor recreation retail and manufacturing sector. Since the passage of HB 3350, Travel Oregon has been working closely with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to envision how the organizations’ leadership capacity will dovetail to support the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative priorities that have already gathered momentum.

Another one of the top strategies is to galvanize a statewide network of community and business leaders interested in advancing this part of Oregon’s economy. The first step in galvanizing this network will be the inaugural Oregon Outdoor Leadership Summit to be held October 16-17, 2017 in Corvallis, Ore. Oregon State University, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Travel Oregon have teamed up to host this event and create an environment for education and collaboration.

The past 18 months have proven to be a pivotal time for advancing outdoor recreation in Oregon. A broad set of leaders and community members have emerged through this extensive process to support an ambitious vision and aligned strategic action. As demonstrated above, organizations are already in motion to implement these strategies and other action teams are now underway with the strong support of a diverse set of partners and positive momentum. We are excited for the next steps — phase two — of the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative and we hope you will join us or come along side us in accomplishing these incremental victories.

Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative In Oregon

  1. Phase One Timeline and Process

    From June 2016 to February 2017, the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative leadership team worked to develop a 15-year vision, critical…

  2. Oregon Outdoor Recreation Leadership Team

    To help jumpstart the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative, Travel Oregon convened a leadership team comprised of 25 members that represent stakeholder…

  3. Outdoor Recreation Resources

    Here you’ll find a list of resources relevant to the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative. Policy: Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation (HB…

Want more information about Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative?

If you have additional questions or comments about Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative, please contact the appropriate member of the Travel Oregon staff listed below.

  1. Kristin Dahl
  2. Scott Bricker