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Natural Resources & Energy

Growing Wyoming's Outdoor Recreation Economy

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Jackson Hole's annual SHIFT Festival brings together the outdoor recreation industry and conservationists. This year, the festival is focusing on making the case for how conservation can be good for business. Gov. Matt Mead's Policy Advisor Nephi Cole attended SHIFT to release a new report that he says will guide the state in how to enhance outdoor recreation in Wyoming.

“We truly believe that this is a growth industry in Wyoming, and sometimes being a growth industry doesn't mean you need government support, it means you need us not to get in the way of that industry and so that's one of the things we're going to look at very hard,” he told festival attendees at the festival Thursday.

Cole says he expects businesses and non-governmental groups to lead the charge with government agencies taking a support role. Recommendations range from how to attract and retain outdoor recreation businesses to expanding the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources to prioritize statewide outdoor recreation similar to other western states.

The recommendations come from a 26-member Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Task Force created by Gov. Mead in 2016.

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