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New Mexico Commits To Outdoor Recreation Principles

on November 1, 2019 - 9:35am
Director of Outdoor Recreation Axie Navas (bottom row at right), joins with representatives from four other states Oct. 24 to be the latest signatories of the Confluence Accords. Courtesy/NMED
NMED News:
SANTA FE Outdoor recreation leaders from Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia committed to advance the principles contained in the Outdoor Recreation Industry Confluence Accords, on behalf of their governors, at a signing ceremony yesterday. That brings the total number of states to an historic 13.
The signing took place in St. George, Utah, at the Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit, a three-day gathering of local stakeholders, industry professionals and land managers.
The Confluence Accords embody 12 principles contained in the four pillars of conservation and stewardship, education and workforce training, economic development, and public health and wellness. They were developed in 2018 by the Confluence of States, a bipartisan group of eight trailblazing states, to promote and advance best practices for all states to consider.
There are now 16 states with offices of outdoor recreation or task forces created or under development following recent legislation.
“In New Mexico, we have a tremendous opportunity to expand our outdoor recreation economy in a sustainable and meaningful way — that means more high-quality jobs and more economic opportunity in rural parts of our state. It also means we have a tremendous responsibility to our great outdoors, our air and water and land,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “As we do the work of diversifying our economy into exciting new growth sectors, like outdoor recreation, and building the infrastructure that will support and sustain that growth, we will ensure conservation and stewardship are at the heart of everything we do.”
The outdoor recreation industry is of growing economic importance in both urban and rural areas. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis in September reported that outdoor recreation makes up 2.2 percent of U.S. GDP, generating $778 billion in gross output and supporting 5.2 million jobs. Federal data show that inflation-adjusted GDP for the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2017, eclipsing the 2.4 percent growth of the overall U.S. economy.
The five new signatory states were gathered, alongside representatives from 16 other states, as part of the first summit of the National Governors Association (NGA) Outdoor Recreation Learning Network. The network was created to help governors and their staffs leverage their unique natural, cultural, and historical resources to advance economic, workforce, health and environmental benefits.