Task Force on the Outdoors will deliver their recommendations in the 2020 Framework for Action

SALEM, Ore. – The Governor’s Task Force on the Outdoors will deliver their recommendations in the 2020 Framework for Action. The framework presents a comprehensive approach for ensuring long-term social, environmental and economic sustainability of outdoor recreation in Oregon.

Gov. Brown first directed the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in early 2019 to convene a diverse task force to strategize and recommend policies, legislation and initiatives to:

  • Support economic development in both rural and urban areas
  • Balance improved outdoor recreation access with resource protection
  • Increase outdoor recreation participation, especially among youth and traditionally underserved communities.

The task force created the 2020 Framework for Action by building on work from public agencies, nonprofits, and national groups to target Oregon’s attention on five key areas:

  • Serve everyone: ensure outdoor recreation opportunities are diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
  • Unite centrally: strengthen collaboration and organizational effectiveness among state leaders.
  • Cooperate locally: empower local and statewide action on the ground among public and private organizations.
  • Invest: accelerate public and private investments in the outdoor recreation sector.
  • Act boldly: catalyze innovative policies and legislation.

The 33-member task force held six meetings around the state over the last year. Members hailed from business, nonprofit, education, and land management organizations. It was managed by Office of Outdoor Recreation Director Cailin O’Brien-Feeney, and chaired by Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jonathan Blasher.

“It’s been an honor to serve along a great group of folks to create and strengthen relationships in this sector while developing an important body of work,” said Blasher. “Many people beyond this group will need to help achieve these goals and bolster the recreation economy while bridging divides with a sense of equity and inclusion.”

The report sets out a five-year strategy that begins immediately. Every function of government is being challenged to fund and staff services, even ones most people accept as important, and few things are as integral to the Oregon identity as a love of the outdoors.

The Office of Outdoor Recreation, charged with guiding this work forward with help from the full spectrum of public and private organizations, is not immune to these forces and the director’s position is subject to lay off by the end of 2020.

“What’s clear is just how important being outdoors is to people right now, and will be in rebuilding our economy. This report lays out a plan, but it’s up to outdoor enthusiasts, my fellow agency peers and our elected leadership to think creatively and act boldly. With fewer resources and strong interest in outdoor recreation, that need has never been more pressing,” said O’Brien-Feeney.

The work set out by the task force will result in a series of agreements and execution plans between public and private organizations between now and December, setting out clear next steps with measurable results for each of the five priority actions.

Ultimately the framework focuses on these top recommendations:

  1. Serve everyone: Advance accessibility and universal design principles.
  2. Unite centrally: Appoint a stakeholder group to advise the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
  3. Cooperate locally: Conduct a statewide outdoor recreation inventory and gap analysis.
  4. Invest: Address County search and rescue needs.
  5. Act boldly: Reassess recreational immunity and liability provisions.

For more information on the task force, Office of Outdoor Recreation and the final Framework for Action, please visit: https://www.oregon.gov/orec/Pages/Governors-Task-Force.aspx