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The mission  of the Big Tent  is to promote sustainable, diverse, equitable, and inclusive outdoor experiences in Washington state through advocacy and education.

#RecreateResponsibly to Protect Yourself, Others, and the Outdoors

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches. [ LEARN MORE ]


 

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CONFLUENCE OF STATES AND SOCIETY OF OUTDOOR RECREATION PROFESSIONALS RELEASE FIRST-EVER SCORP COMPARISON REPORT

Statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plans provide a blueprint for outdoor recreation management and development at the state level

The Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) process was established in the 1960s as a tool to guide the development and management of outdoor recreation resources by state to receive funding under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act. States must update their SCORP every five years. This allows states, tribes, and local governments, to apply for and receive LWCF matching grant funding for the acquisition and development of public parks and other outdoor recreation sites. Over the years, some SCORPs have evolved to include a greater focus on public participation, stewardship, and equitable access to outdoor recreation opportunities. 

 

The report assesses the similarities and differences in how each state approaches outdoor recreation planning, including the goals, objectives, and strategies outlined in their plans. The report also evaluates data, state methodology, and outreach strategies. Overall, the report provides valuable insights into the various approaches to outdoor recreation planning and shares examples of states developing their plans through innovative solutions to better serve their communities. 

 

“The SCORP Comparison Report provides a valuable tool for SCORP planners, consultants, and researchers to understand how each state defines priorities and understands outdoor recreation needs,” said Rachel Franchina, Executive Director of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals. “Outdoor recreation planners and grant administrators will appreciate having a go-to resource for knowing what their neighboring states and states on the other side of the country are doing to improve access to outdoor recreation.” 

 

“This report is a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of outdoor recreation to our communities,” said Brad Garmon, 2023 Chair of the Confluence of States and Executive Director of the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “It highlights the best practices and innovative approaches taken by different states, as well as common challenges and opportunities for improvement. It is my hope that this report will serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, outdoor recreation professionals, and community leaders across the country. By working together and learning from one another, we can continue to strengthen and expand outdoor recreation opportunities for all, while also preserving our outdoor spaces for future generations to enjoy.” 

 

“States have a terrific opportunity to dictate the recreation needs of today and outline the opportunities of tomorrow through their State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans,” said Chris Perkins, Senior Director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, a coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and organizations serving more than 110,000 businesses. “This outstanding report from the Confluence of States provides a comprehensive look at the state of SCORPs across the country and provides ample advice on how states can ensure that they reflect the fullest potential of their outdoor recreation resources.” 

 

“This one-of-a-kind report gives state and local decisionmakers a deeper understanding of the role the outdoor recreation economy plays in local communities and the insight they need to allocate the appropriate resources to enhance public lands and waterways,” said Rich Harper, Director of Government Affairs of the Outdoor Industry Association, the premier trade association for outdoor businesses. “In turn, these decisions support local businesses in new and better ways and strengthens the entire outdoor recreation economy, ensuring future generations of Americans will have improved access to the great outdoors.” 

 

The Confluence of States and Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals will host a webinar to debut the comparison report on August 2nd, 2023, at 3 PM EST. The webinar, titled Introducing the SCORP Comparison Report, will feature Maribel Castañeda, author of the comparison report and Manager for the Confluence of States, who will present the report and moderate a panel of SCORP leaders. Register here

 

The Confluence of States is a bipartisan coalition developing a national platform to grow the outdoor recreation industry, protect our nation's wild places and transform conservation into a driver for economic prosperity.  

 

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) is the nation’s leading association of outdoor recreation and related professionals who strive to protect our natural and cultural resources while providing sustainable recreation access. 

 

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Washington State's Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

View the 2020 Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State for details