Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Welcomes Establishment Of North Dakota Office Of Outdoor Recreation

May 10, 2024

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) applauded the announcement of North Dakota’s new Office of Outdoor Recreation, created today through executive order by Governor Doug Burgum at an event at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. This announcement marks the 22nd State Office of Outdoor Recreation across the United States and comes on the heels of Governor Burgum’s attendance at ORR’s National Outdoor Recreation Executive Forum in Washington, D.C. this week. Outdoor recreation generates $1.3 billion for North Dakota’s economy, is 1.8 percent of its GDP, and creates 13,615 jobs, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

North Dakota’s announcement today emphasized that its new Office of Outdoor Recreation will promote economic growth, workforce recruitment and retention, enhance quality of life and preserve the state's unique outdoor heritage. The combined efforts will unlock doors for critical investment, propelling further growth and innovation within the state’s outdoor recreation industry. 

“Our members representing activities from across the full spectrum of the $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation economy are celebrating Governor Burgum’s leadership today in establishing the 22nd Office of Outdoor Recreation across the United States," said Jessica Wahl Turner, President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. "This office will be a catalyst for supporting North Dakota’s $1.3 billion outdoor recreation economy that creates nearly 14,000 jobs for North Dakotans. Outdoor recreation builds thriving economies, helps attract new workers and businesses, generates benefits for physical and mental health, and connects people to treasured natural places. North Dakota’s outdoor recreation businesses, organizations, and communities of all sizes will benefit greatly from the Governor's deep commitment to the outdoors, and we can’t wait to support their future work.” 

“This new office will allow us to better coordinate with stakeholders and state agencies as they develop plans, strategies and initiatives to maximize the impact of outdoor recreation in North Dakota,” Governor Burgum said in a press release today. “We are incredibly excited to connect even more deeply with our partners in the private sector who drive economic development and job creation in our state. From the sales and service of boats, RVs and ATVs, to hunting and fishing gear, bicycles and skis, outdoor recreation is a cornerstone of our state’s economic well-being.” 

“Having witnessed the many benefits of the outdoor recreation economy in Arkansas firsthand, I am so pleased to see North Dakota and Governor Doug Burgum announce a new office of outdoor recreation,” said Katherine Andrews, Director of the Arkansas Office of Outdoor Recreation and Chair of the Confluence of States. “As Chair of the Confluence of States, a bipartisan network of state leaders advancing our outdoor economy through a collective voice, I look forward to working with my counterpart in North Dakota to further promote and advance the mission of Confluence.” 

ORR supports state directors and state offices of outdoor recreation and helps create new offices of outdoor recreation through access to data, resources, and communications tools for recreation leaders across the country. More information on ORR’s state outdoor recreation programmatic priorities can be found on their website.