On September 24, Governor Larry Hogan announced the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, a move supported and advocated for by the RV Industry Association and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). He has appointed J. Daryl Anthony to serve as its first executive director.

“We look forward to working with the Maryland Office of Outdoor Recreation and supporting their efforts to grow their outdoor recreation industry,” said RV Industry Association Director of Government Affairs Chris Bornemann. “Maryland joins 15 other states who have established offices of outdoor recreation and we continue to work to expand the number of states making this vital commitment to RVing and the great outdoors. Through these efforts, we hope to bring outdoor recreation to as many people as possible, create more employment and camping opportunities, and to encourage all Americans to take advantage of the physical and mental health benefits of getting outdoors.”

The RV Industry Association, in conjunction with the ORR, has been integral to the creation of Offices of Outdoor Recreation across the country in an effort to coordinate outdoor recreation policy and promote economic development among stakeholders in the outdoor recreation industry at the state level. The Association, along with other members of the (ORR), have called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation.

RVers are avid participators in many outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, boating, and snow sports. While outdoor recreation is a significant part of our American heritage, it is also a pillar of our nation’s economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that outdoor recreation represents 2.1 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) and contributes $788 billion annually to the U.S. economy. And in Maryland, the RV industry has an economic impact of $660 million and supports nearly 6,000 jobs and $225 million in wages paid to Marylanders.

“One of our state’s hallmarks is the stewardship of our lands and waters by the Marylanders who love them,” said Governor Hogan. “Our sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support efforts to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitat. Today we are honoring this partnership for the outdoors while assuring that it continues to grow with the establishment of Maryland’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation.”

“I am honored and pleased to help lead the effort to enhance outdoor recreation in Maryland,” said J. Daryl Anthony. “With the leadership of Governor Hogan, Lt. Governor Rutherford, Secretary Riccio, and Secretary Schulz, I believe this is an exciting time to build and grow upon Maryland’s world class outdoor recreation capabilities.”

“The entire recreation industry applauds Governor Hogan’s creation of an Office of Outdoor Recreation and hiring of J. Daryl Anthony as its first director,” said Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Executive Director Jessica Wahl Turner“As a Marylander myself, I am in awe of all the state has to offer when it comes to recreation on the land and water, and we were incredibly lucky to have Secretary Schulz and Secretary Haddaway-Riccio’s leadership on the Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission that recommended the creation of this office. We know that outdoor recreation drives nearly 90,000 jobs and contributes over $7 billion to the state’s economy while positively boosting public health and our quality of life, particularly during the pandemic. By creating this office, Governor Hogan recognizes outdoor experiences are not a nice-to-have but a must-have and we all stand ready as key partners to protect the places that make Maryland such a great place to live and work.”

Article Courtesy of: https://www.rvia.org/news-insights/maryland-establishes-office-outdoor-recreation