State Funding Mechanisms for Outdoor Recreation

September 1, 2017

Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine, generating more than $887 billion in consumer spending in the United States. It also benefits public health, quality of life, property values, and the local tax base, generating $59.2 billion in local and state tax revenue.

Many states have authorized mechanisms for funding outdoor recreation, and even in an era of divisive political polarization, voters continually and strongly support measures for the outdoors. In fact, more than 80 percent of funding for recreation and conservation is generated at the state and local level. Strategies are diverse and often tied to other values such as habitat conservation, farmland preservation, and cultural heritage.

This report, produced for Outdoor Industry Association by Headwaters Economics, focuses on state funding mechanisms that support outdoor recreation, including strategies employed across the country, best practices for funding outdoor recreation at the state level, and detailed case studies of seven states: Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

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