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News Release
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Governor's Task Force on the Outdoors holds inaugural meeting May 22 at Silver Falls (Photo) - 05/15/19

SALEM, Ore. – Gov. Kate Brown has established a task force to explore long-term strategies for elevating outdoor recreation in the state. Task force members were appointed by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission. 

Task force members will work over the next year to produce a report recommending policies, legislation and initiatives to support economic development in both rural and urban areas, balance improved outdoor recreation access with resource protection, and increase outdoor recreation participation, especially among youth and traditionally underserved communities.

The governor tapped the Office of Outdoor Recreation, established in 2017 within the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), to guide the task force.

The task force will meet for the first time 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. May 22 at the Silver Falls Conference Center, Silver Falls State Park, 20024 Silver Falls Highway SE, Sublimity. The meeting is open to the public.

The meeting will encompass the current state of affairs, including past and ongoing efforts to improve outdoor recreation and business opportunities. View the full meeting agenda online: oregon.gov/orec/Documents/052019ORECTaskForceMeeting.pdf

The meeting is the first in a planned series; the group will hold subsequent meetings on the coast, the Portland area, and in southern and eastern Oregon.

The task force is composed of private and public sector representatives and will be chaired by Commissioner Jon Blasher of the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission. Cailin O'Brien-Feeney, Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation, will manage the task force. A full list of task force members is included at the end of this release. More detail about each member is online: oregon.gov/orec/Pages/Governors-Task-Force.aspx.

Building on and uniting other statewide outdoor recreation efforts, the task force will deliver its final report in April 2020 on recommendations for legislation, investment of existing public and private resources, future funding, and high-level management strategies. Top recommendations will be presented to the governor, state legislature and the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Individuals who require special accommodations to attend the meeting should contact Carrie Lovellette, OPRD executive assistant, at 503-986-0733 or rie.Lovellette@oregon.gov">Carrie.Lovellette@oregon.gov at least three days in advance.

More information about Silver Falls State Park, including maps and driving directions, is on the park’s webpage.

Task force members

  • Jonathan Blasher (Chair), Director - Parks and Nature, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Asha Aiello, Communications Director; Secretary/Treasurer, American Forest Resource Council; Oregon Outdoor Council
  • Kelley Minty Morris, Klamath County Commissioner, Association of Oregon Counties; Klamath County
  • Chris Hager, NW Regional Director, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
  • Amanda Welker, Global Trade & Recruitment Manager, Business Oregon
  • Queta Gonzalez, Director, Center for Diversity and the Environment
  • Esmeralda Horn, Development & Recreation Manager, City of Umatilla
  • Chuck Sams, Communications Director, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  • Ed Morgan, General Manager, Guaranty RV, Inc.
  • Mike Wallenfells, VP Sales; President, Hydro Flask; Oregon Outdoor Alliance
  • Matthew Drake, CEO, Mount Hood Meadows
  • Jennifer Magby, Interim Tillamook District Recreation Manager, Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Roger Fuhrman, Information and Education Division Administrator, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Susan Peithman, Active Transportation Policy Lead, Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Lillian Shirley, BSN, MPH, MPA, Director, Public Health Division, Oregon Health Authority
  • Mary Jo Evers, CPA, Finance Director; Chairperson, Ontario School District; Ontario Recreation District
  • Chris Havel, Associate Director, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
  • Senator Chuck Thomsen, District 26 (R), Oregon Legislative Assembly
  • Representative Ken Helm, District 34 (D), Oregon Legislative Assembly
  • Matthew Weintraub, Founding Member; Member, Oregon Mountain Biking Coalition; Clatsop County Parks and Recreational Lands Advisory Committee
  • Hugh Morrison, Network Coordinator, Oregon Outdoors
  • Steph Noll, Coalition Director, Oregon Trails Coalition
  • Randy Henry, Boating Safety and Education Manager, Oregon State Marine Board
  • Lindsey Shirley, University Outreach & Engagement Associate Provost, Oregon State University
  • Sue Bal, Business Development Manager, Athletic & Outdoor Industry, Prosper Portland
  • Sara Morrissey, Public Affairs Manager, Strategy, Travel Oregon
  • John Omlin, Owner; Several Statewide ATV Committees, Valley Powersports
  • Dan Little (ex-officio), First Gentleman, State of Oregon
  • Cailin O'Brien-Feeney (ex-officio), Director, Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation
  • Tracy Tophooven (ex-officio), Director for Recreation, WWSR, Lands, and Minerals, USFS Region 6
  • Aaron Curtis (ex-officio), Section Chief for Social Sciences, Bureau of Land Management OR/WA

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The mission of the Office of Outdoor Recreation is to elevate the personal, community, and economic benefits of outdoor recreation for all Oregonians. The Office of Outdoor Recreation is a resource to businesses and nonprofit organizations, a partner to agencies and communities, and an advocate for the outdoors.

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