California leaves us in suspense

September 10, 2019

In California, the nation’s largest recreation economy, still no Office of Outdoor Recreation.

As the California legislature begins wrapping up the first half of a two-year session, AB 1111, the bill to create an office of outdoor recreation, has died in committee. The bill failed to come out of “suspense” while in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, a procedural requirement for all bills with a fiscal note working their way through the legislature.

“We are extremely grateful for the leadership of Assemblymember Laura Friedman who championed the bill this year and for the groups who came together to support this effort,” said David Weinstein, OIA’s state and local policy director. “We are disappointed by the fate of the bill, but saw a lot of gains in California this session. AB 1111 served as an organizing principle for a number of stakeholders and communities across the state and elevated the industry’s voice as a strong advocate. We will continue to work with partners like the California Outdoor Recreation Partnership (CORP) on the creation of an OREC in the future, and on the many other legislative and state-specific issues pertinent to the outdoor industry in California.”

This year, OIA and CORP partnered with the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition (COEC), whose mission is to “expand equitable access to the outdoors through cross-sector partnerships and collective impact.” Diversifying the coalition advocating on behalf of outdoor industry policies will be key to creating political power in California, which represents the largest recreation economy in the nation.

OIA looks forward to building a more powerful voice in Sacramento by partnering with CORP, COEC, and others to work with legislators, continue conversations with the Newsom administration, and advance policies at the state and local levels in California.