Last week during Outdoor Retailer, while every major stakeholder in the outdoor recreation economy was busy meeting in preparation for the upcoming year and beyond, representatives from Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming met with far less fanfare and shiny product just down the street in Denver.
Leadership from eight states signed the Confluence Accords, which outline shared political principles for the outdoor recreation industry.
“The Confluence Accords are a roadmap for the outdoor recreation industry that recognize it’s about so much more than getting people outside,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “This collaborative work will serve as a national model and strengthen the collective voice of this industry.”
The Accords were first drafted in January at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in and focused on four key pillars:
Conservation and Stewardship
Education and Workforce Training
Public Health and Wellness
“This bipartisan effort is about harnessing the incredible power of the outdoor recreation community and creating a set of shared principles that each signing member can stand by,” said Luis Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “The economic impact of the industry is undeniable, but with these principles we now have a framework for the industry’s political strength.”
Kansas, Michigan, Maryland and Arkansas are all observer states who are working to join the Accords at the next Confluence Summit in January. According to Marc Berejka, REI’s director of community and government affairs, “The accords reflect a paradigm shift in how policymakers view recreation – these states understand how the outdoors simultaneously delivers health, community development, conservation and economic benefits.”
View the full Confluence Accords here.