In Oregon, talking about where you've recently camped or what corner of the state you are off to explore next is a common part of any conversation. That's why it makes so much sense to have a state-designated day for outdoor recreation.
On May 23, 2017, Oregon's Governor, Kate Brown, signed HB 2143 into law. The bill sets the first Saturday in June as Oregon Outdoor Recreation Day, which since 1997 has also been State Parks Day. Oregon State Parks has announced that all state park campgrounds and other day use fees will be waived for the day as well (but online campground reservations include a small service charge that will not be waived). The bill, passed with bi-partisan support, was led by the Mazamas in conjunction with the Outdoor Industry Association and other industry supporters.
In recognition of the win, Lee Davis, Mazamas Executive Director, said: "The passage of this bill is an important step in celebrating the importance of outdoor recreation to the health and happiness of our people and our favorite places in Oregon. Whether it’s hunting and fishing, climbing, backpacking, mountain biking or paddling, we believe that the simple act of getting outside and enjoying Oregon’s public lands is paramount to our way of life. It’s a primary part of why many of us live here, why so many people move here, and why we love it here in Oregon.”
Outdoor recreation is the largest single driver of Oregon's economy, and it's growing. A recent economic survey determined that outdoor recreation generates $12.8 billion every year in the state, and it supports 141,000 jobs. By comparison, agriculture makes up the second largest industry in the state, amounting to $5.7 billion.
The bill creating the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Day recognizes just how important outdoor recreation is to all Oregonians. It reads, in part: "Oregon's culture and history are deeply tied to an active outdoor lifestyle, and over 90 percent of Oregonians report that they engage in at least one form of outdoor recreation."
As an Oregon-based company, Outdoor Project's story is intertwined with this important part of the state's culture. We agree that this weekend, and pretty much any other day, is a great time to get outside to explore a trail, forest, lake, river, desert or mountain on the many public lands where we can recreate. Thank you, Oregon, for codifying a love of outdoor adventure as part of the state's official business.
Are you in need of inspiration for your day of adventure? Scroll down for more blog posts featuring the best of Oregon's outdoors.