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Wyoming Taps Outdoor Recreation to Increase Revenues

Wyoming is creating a task force to expand and increase revenues from outdoor recreation. (Pixabay)
Wyoming is creating a task force to expand and increase revenues from outdoor recreation. (Pixabay)
November 14, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Gov. Matt Mead's task force to promote outdoor recreation in Wyoming is taking shape.

Camping, hiking, hunting, fishing and other activities generate $4.5 billion annually in consumer spending, add $300 million to state and local tax coffers, and create 50,000 jobs, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

Domenic Bravo, administrator of Wyoming State Parks, Historical Sites and Trails, says including tourism, outdoor recreation is the second largest industry in the state.

"It'd be great if we just diversify our portfolio, and I think this is something that can be done through this process,” he states. “Outdoor recreation will be able to help through that tourism process to just be a greater economic engine for the state of Wyoming."

Bravo has received nearly 200 applications for the task force from a diverse pool of outdoor enthusiasts, conservation and business leaders.

Some 20 applicants will be selected this week, and the group will have a year to deliver a report with suggestions to improve Wyoming's outdoor, recreation opportunities, marketing and business recruitment.

Dan McCoy has some experience using outdoor recreation as a recruiting tool. He's the assistant director of campus recreation at the University of Wyoming, and says the state's natural resources are a big part of the conversation with potential students trying to decide where to spend their college years.

"That's one of the top priorities,” he relates. “And especially these out-of-state students, looking at not only recruiting people to the state, but also retaining people. Improving outdoor recreation, it helps people stay here."

McCoy hopes he'll be one of the 20 selected for the task force. The group is expected to hold its first meeting in December.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY