Stakeholder Call on Outdoor Recreation in Higher Education

Senator Ranker

As Chair of the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee, Senator Ranker is interested in expanding outdoor recreation credentials at higher education institutions in Washington. He has taken note of the efforts of Colorado’s Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry to establish the following degree programs, and he would like to do something similar in Washington.

1. New MBA for Outdoor Recreation Industry at Western State in Gunnison launching this fall
2. MENV (Masters of the Environment) program at University Colorado at Boulder
3. Masters of Adventure Travel Tourism at Colorado State University
4. Ski Area Management program at Colorado Mountain College
5. Trail-building certificate program at Colorado Mountain College

Currently only Eastern Washington University and Central Washington University offer outdoor recreation degrees (see attachments for details on existing programs). As he begins to develop legislation, Senator Ranker would like to hear from industry leaders on what kind of talent pipeline you would benefit from.

Although Senator Ranker will be out of town for the holidays, he would appreciate your time and input on a conference call with staff to discuss potential legislation. Please join us for a call on January 2nd from 1 – 2 pm. Call in details are below and I will follow up with an outlook invite. Please feel free to forward this invitation to colleagues who are interested in this topic.

Phone number: 1-877-820-7831
Passcode: 5727119

Thank you for your consideration. Take care,

Maggie Yuse
Legislative Assistant
Office of Senator Kevin Ranker
(360) 786-7678


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Data Minimize
February 2018: A federal government analysis of outdoor recreation's economic impact reaffirms what many conservation groups have said for decades.  Outdoor recreation is big business. For the first time ever the U.S. Department of Commerce looked specifically at the economic impact of outdoor recreation and found that it contributed $373.7 billion to the nation's Gross Domestic Product in 2016, comprising 2 percent of the GDP.  See Report


A state study completed by the Recreation and Conservation Office in January 2015, finds that people in Washington spend nearly $22 billion each year hiking, skiing, boating, golfing, and in other outdoor pursuits.  See Study


January 2014: Outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse in the United States, each year generating $646 billion in customer spending and 6.1 million direct jobs.  See Study

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