Post by Katie Hawkins
State offices of outdoor recreation are increasingly popular as a way to promote outdoor recreation and help states coordinate across different kinds of public land.
Last week, I testified in front of the California Senate in support of California bill AB1111, which will establish a California office of outdoor recreation. The bill was approved unanimously by Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee 9-0 and you can read our testimony by clicking on the letter at right.
I testified along with Marc Berejka, Director of Community and Government Affairs at REI, and it balanced the hearing with perspectives from the outdoor business and the outdoor user community. We both received questions from Chair Henry Stern about funding for this office. REI spoke to the investment the co-op has made in the state, and I was able to go into further detail on how Outdoor Alliance brings sweat equity and our ability to mobilize our members, partners, and groups to work with agencies, advise on forest plans, directly communicate any infrastructure needs, and organize volunteers for stewardship programs.
As we were closing the Vice Chair Brian Jones from San Diego voiced his support for the office and the human-powered outdoor recreation community. He is an avid mountain biker and went into detail on the success of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in his district that supports mountain bikers, equestrians, and motorized users. After the hearing, Senator Jones and I discussed the work San Diego Mountain Biking Association.
In August, members of the human-powered outdoor community will meet further with state legislators in Sacramento. If you’re from California and want to help, you can write your state Senators using the tool below: