May 1st, 2019
On May 1, 2019, Governor Whitmer and MDNR Director Dan Eichinger announced the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. The new office, working closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will oversee an expansion of Michigan’s outdoor recreation economy. The department will highlight Michigan’s tourism driven businesses, work with industry partners to stay on top of new trends in outdoor recreation, promote Michigan’s outdoor tourism industry, and grow the constituency necessary to ensure our environment is protected. Outdoor recreation generates some $26.6 billion a year in consumer spending; 232,000 direct jobs, $7.5 billion in wages and salaries, and $2.1 billion in state and local tax revenue.
On September 11, Gov. Whitmer named former Michigan Environmental Council staffer Brad Garmon to director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry, and in October, Michigan joined joined the Confluence of States on Outdoor Recreation – a growing national effort to build public awareness about the economic, social and public health benefits of outdoor play. The Confluence provides a unified voice for the businesses and organizations that make up the industry, and joining the group enables Michigan to help drive the national discussion on outdoor recreation.