AB-1819 includes legislation to establish The California Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation.
Please read our Comment Letter Below
June 13, 2018
The Honorable Bob Hertzberg, Chair Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee State Capitol Building Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SUPPORT AB 1918 (E. Garcia): Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation
Dear Chair Hertzberg:
On behalf of the millions of Californians and tourists who utilize outdoor recreation opportunities in our state, the undersigned public entities, private companies and businesses and nonprofit organizations are writing to express our emphatic support for AB 1918 and the creation of the Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation. We stand ready to work with you and the Legislature to make this bill a reality.
According to a 2017 report conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor industry in our state supports over 690,000 California jobs and makes other significant contributions toward the goal of healthy communities and healthy local/regional economies. The outdoor economy represents nearly $90 billion in economic consumption statewide and generates $6.2 billion in state and local taxes.
The outdoor recreation sector in California is about a network of nonprofits, public agencies, companies, brands, community-based organizations, and education systems all working to connect and re-connect our residents with outdoor spaces. As Californians, we benefit from the vast and impressive public lands, natural resources, and outdoor spaces that make all Californians want to be outdoors. This sector is shaped daily by the changing preferences and demands of Californians, and creation of new technologies, products, and pathways for recreation.
The new Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation created by AB 1918 will be a focal point for the outdoor recreation sector in meeting those challenges. Although there are many departments, agencies, boards, and commissions focused on different aspects of land management, park creation, or outdoor access, there isn’t one office or position in California that is tasked with this intersection of the outdoor recreation sector and celebrating the benefits of the outdoors in all settings – urban, suburban, and rural.
The Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation will build collaboration between those who are creating, manufacturing, and selling outdoor recreation goods, and those who are in the critical position of providing programming and outdoor experiences to help all Californians – especially youth and communities of color – access the outdoors in an equitable way. That dual mission of the office envisioned in AB 1918 is what makes this unique and needed for California.
Offices of outdoor recreation have been established in eight other states, including Washington, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Montana, Vermont, North Carolina, and Wyoming. California needs to focus greater energies on the economic and society-creating engine that is the outdoors and harness the opportunities inherent in our landscapes to the benefit of all Californians.
We respectfully request your support for AB 1918.
Douglas D. Houston, Executive Director State Park Partners Coalition (SPPC)
Stephanie Stephens, Executive Director California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS)
Steve Robert E. Doyle, General Manager
Frisch, President East Bay Regional Park District
Sierra Business Council
Mark Stanley, Executive Director Watershed Conservation Authority
José G. González, Founder Latino Outdoors
Rico Mastrodonato, Senior Government Relations Manager The Trust for Public Land
Katie Goodwin, California Regional Director Access Fund
Sam Roberts, President, Board of Directors Friends of the Inyo
Mark Menlove, Executive Director Winter Wildlands Alliance
Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
Laura R. Cohen, J.D., Director, Western Region Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Bert Whitaker, Director Sonoma County Regional Parks
Austin McInerny, President National Interscholastic Cycling Association
Tom Sean Barclay, General Manager
Johnson, President Tahoe City Public Utility District
Mammoth Lakes Recreation
John Wentworth, Chief Executive Officer/Board President Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation
Adam Cramer, Executive Director Outdoor Alliance
John Woodbury, General Manager Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District
Rich Meyer, Co-Founder Tahoe Backcountry Alliance
David Polivy, Owner Tahoe Mountain Sports
Theresa L. Simsiman, California Stewardship Director American Whitewater
Matt Lyon, President & CEO, Hydrapak LLC & President, Board of Directors, California Outdoor Recreation Partners (CORP)
Cindy Gustafson, CEO North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce
Rue Mapp, Founder & CEO OutDoor Afro
Steve R. Frisch, President Sierra Business Council
Jeff Darlington, Executive Director Placer Land Trust
Bridget Fithian, Executive Director Sierra Foothill Conservancy
Perry Noris, Executive Director Truckee Donner Land Trust
Erin Tarr, Co-Executive Director Bear Yuba Land Trust
Jenny Hatch, Executive Director Sierra Nevada Alliance