Outdoor Recreation office aims to boost Oregon economy

Some have called the new office an unnecessary expense

FILE - In this May 26, 2005, file photo, a half mile hike offers one of many spectacular views at the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument near Mitchell, Ore. Trip visits to the national monument, along with other Oregon areas such as Crater Lake National Park and Smith Rock State Park, surged in 2014 as part of a $2.3 million Seven Wonders campaign by Wieden+Kennedy ad agency. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A newly created state office is hoping to take Oregon’s recreational economy from good to great.

The Statesman Journal reports the Office of Outdoor Recreation was created by the state lawmakers last legislative session in response to the decline in the percentage of Oregonians who take part in outdoor recreation.

Chris Havel with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says the new office will begin by focusing on improving access and participation to outdoor recreation and the stewardships and sustainability of resources.

Some have called the new office an unnecessary expense and doubt it will pay much attention to hunting, fishing and motorized recreation.

The state is still in process of finding a director to lead the new unit.