Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed New Mexico Senate Bill 462 into law on April 2 adding New Mexico to the growing swath of states across the nation that have established an Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC) responsible for helping to grow the outdoor recreation economy.
This newly created New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division will reside in the Economic Development Department and will be led by a director appointed by Governor Grisham, who has been a champion of this effort. The legislation also creates several administrative and grant programs to support the Division as it develops: The Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, the Special Projects and Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund and the Outdoor Equity Grant Program and Fund. The new law also adds funds for grant administration on the part of the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps Commission.
The RV Industry Association, along with other members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, have called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation. As of this month, there are five states across the U.S. (California, Nevada, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Minnesota) that still have active efforts to create OREC Offices progressing through their state legislatures in their current sessions. The RV Industry Association continues to be supportive of these important efforts to coordinate outdoor recreation policy and promote economic development among stakeholders in the outdoor recreation industry at the state level.
RVers are avid participators in many outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, boating and snow sports. And while outdoor recreation is a significant part of our American heritage, it is also a pillar of our nation’s economy. In 2018, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported for the first time that outdoor recreation represents 2.2 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) and contributes $734 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Even more significant, during the period of 2012 to 2016, outdoor recreation grew faster than the U.S. economy overall. And in New Mexico, the RV industry has an economic impact of $133.2 million and supports more than 1,320 jobs and $54.5 million in wages paid to New Mexicans.
The RV Industry Association applauds the commitment New Mexico is making to support the continued growth of the outdoor recreation economy by creating the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division and hopes to foster close working relationships with this office as it develops.
Stay tuned for how you can help add your voice to the support for OREC offices in all 50 states via the RV Industry Association’s digital advocacy platform.