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Why Does Oregon Need An 'Office Of Outdoor Recreation'?

A pair of hikers heads into the shadow of South Sister, Oregon's third-tallest mountain.

A pair of hikers heads into the shadow of South Sister, Oregon’s third-tallest mountain.

Zach Urness/AP

It would be easy to believe that Oregon’s newly-created Office of Outdoor Recreation is a needless extravagance. 

The state’s snow-capped volcanoes and salmon-filled rivers already fuel a $10.8 billion tourism industry, support 141,000 jobs and host a population more likely to spend time outdoors than the national average. 

But dig deeper into Oregon’s relationship with the outdoors and you’ll find some concerning trends, officials say.  

The percentage of Oregonians who take part in outdoor recreation has actually declined in some cases, said Chris Havel with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. 

Read the whole story at the Statesman Journal.

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