Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson recently announced that the state will create an Office of Outdoor Recreation within the state’s Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. The new office will be focused on developing new opportunities to showcase the state’s wide variety of outdoor activities, including boating, trail activities, and cycling.
Arkansas is among the first southern state to join a growing list of 17 states with outdoor recreation offices, task forces, or advisory councils focused on expanding the outdoor recreation economy. Outdoor recreation is big business in Arkansas, producing $2.9 billion in annual economic impact and supporting over 39,000 jobs.
The governor’s office reports the new program will collect and analyze data to develop metrics that show how outdoor recreation is impacting the Arkansas economy in order to make future plans for developing new recreational opportunities.