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States stoked on outdoor rec

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Rockies Today

January 28 · Issue #70 · View online
The big stories up and down the Rocky Mountains, curated by Mountain West News

States stoked on outdoor recreation
States invest in the outdoor recreation by opening offices dedicated to the sector's growth States invest in the outdoor recreation by opening offices dedicated to the sector's growth
Sixteen state governments have created outdoor-recreation offices to help spur economic growth in rural areas by promoting activities like hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and whitewater sports.
The trend underscores the belief that such sports are an economic boon for rural areas.
Montana created the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the state’s Office of Economic Development in 2017.
“A lot of people are surprised when I give them statistics and numbers about the outdoor recreation economy in Montana,” said Rachel VandeVoort, director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation. “Outdoor recreation represents over 5 percent of our economy and $70 billion in annual consumer spending in Montana, and creates more than 71,000 jobs.” 
VandeVoort, an outdoors enthusiast and Montana’s first outdoor recreation director, says an outdoor lifestyle is something most Montanans enjoy without considering their economic impact.
“A lot of times, people will say to me, ‘but I don’t recreate,’ and these are people who hunt, who fish, who ride UTVs (all-terrain vehicles). These people, these traditions and ways of life are all part of the growth of the outdoor economy. It’s not just tourists from out of state.” 
Speaking of the recreation economy…
Evolution of Outdoor Retailer trade shows mirrors industry’s transformation into political, economic force
Midas touches off protest
U.S. lawmakers want answers about Idaho gold mine process U.S. lawmakers want answers about Idaho gold mine process
More from E&E News:
Dems decry decision on Idaho gold mining project
Background:
Documents: Mining company writing own environmental report
Public lands-fed
BLM plans to 'modernize' grazing on public lands BLM plans to 'modernize' grazing on public lands
Speaking of grazing…
Potential predation prevention: Remind cattle they are herd animals
More public lands goings on:
The Trump administration is forcing these workers out West. Now they want to unionize.
Idaho landowners couldn't block public land access under new legislative proposal
Activists protest plans for Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests
As it bled cash, Yellowstone Forever's top brass got raises
BLM examines Pryor Mountain trails in wake of order allowing e-bikes in trails
Not as grisly
Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly conflicts, deaths down in 2019 Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly conflicts, deaths down in 2019
Meanwhile…
Wyoming Game and Fish documents first agency trap-related grizzly death
More wildlife news:
Colorado lawmakers might vote on wolf reintroduction before citizens do
Investigation: Ferry County range riders were in Spokane when they were supposed to be patrolling
Threatened by climate change, Washington's rare wolverines aren't endangered—yet
Birds flocking to national parks in the Canadian Rockies
Reckless abandon
Globe editorial: How to make the oil-and-gas industry take responsibility for its orphans Globe editorial: How to make the oil-and-gas industry take responsibility for its orphans
As the CBC reported last week…
Alberta's looming multibillion-dollar orphan wells problem prompts auditor general probe
More energy news:
Expert: Coal port suit faces uphill battle to Supreme Court
Gazette opinion: Montana, Wyoming right to fight for coal port
NTEC says it's on track to pay overdue taxes, citing new agreement with feds
TC Energy renews bid to dump tribes' Keystone XL suit
Juwi and Tri-State announce four new Colorado solar projects
What else we're reading today
ACLU: Wyoming elected officials’ disregard of ICE jail is unlawful
After announced closure of private prison, Colorado finds itself in a quandary
After Montana, North Dakota hemp plans were rejected, what's next for hemp in 2020?
Second marijuana legalization ballot measure filed in Montana
Real estate business caters to conservatives looking for 'redder' pastures
Salt Lake City’s air quality is nation’s 7th worst among large metro areas
A ‘gap in protection’: Arizona looks for a Plan B under WOTUS
Rockies Today is edited by Matthew Frank, Fellow in Regional Journalism at the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana. 
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O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, 59812