Today's Law As Amended

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AB-907 Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement.(2017-2018)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) As California’s population continues to grow and diversify, there is an opportunity to actively engage the outdoor recreation industry, take the lead on stewardship of natural resource issues, and connect people of color to the outdoors.
(b) Of the various economic sectors, consumer spending on outdoor recreation outpaces all other economic sectors with the exceptions of outpatient health care services and financial and insurance services.
(c) Outdoor recreation should be included in policy discussions related to tourism and natural resource management statewide.
(d) The Western Governors’ Association, of which Governor Brown is a member, has repeatedly recognized the irreplaceable contributions the outdoor recreation economy makes to state and local tax revenues and job creation throughout the western United States.
(e) On a per capita spending basis, California lags behind the western states of Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Utah in consumer spending on outdoor recreation.
(f) Understanding the benefits of the outdoors, not just from an economic standpoint, but also from public, environmental health, and intrinsic perspectives, all of those states, save Oregon, which has legislation pending, have established offices or executive positions within their state governments dedicated to promoting outdoor recreation.
(g) Assembly Bill 2444 of the 2015–16 Regular Session would have provided, and Assembly Bill 18 of the 2017–18 Regular Session and Senate Bill 5 of the 2017–18 Regular Session provide, opportunities for an infusion of moneys to promote and enhance outdoor recreation infrastructure and public land stewardship within California.
(h) Californians who live in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas of the state have limited access to structured outdoor recreation pursuits and fewer opportunities to interact with nature, leading to alarming rates of obesity and diabetes.
(i) Outdoor recreation, to a large degree, is a “pay to play” proposition as California’s youth in the more challenged areas of the state have little access to structured outdoor recreation pursuits or to informal opportunities to interact with nature.
(j) California’s working, natural, and recreational public and private lands represent the largest single carbon sink in the state, promoting a multitude of natural benefits relating to greenhouse gases.
(k) Owing to the uncertainties of policies emanating from the new federal administration, Californians must remain vigilant in their role as trustees of our public lands and must ensure that the state’s investments in preserving and stewarding working landscapes and promoting outdoor recreation continue to provide sustainable value over time.

SEC. 2.

 Article 6.1 (commencing with Section 12098.50) is added to Chapter 1.6 of Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:

Article  6.1. Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement
 There is hereby established in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development the Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement.
 For purposes of this division, “outdoor recreation” means a pursuit that occurs in a natural environment or physical landscape, including various active and passive sports and activities, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Snow-dependent sports and activities, including skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling.
(b) Water-dependent sports and activities, including kayaking, water skiing, swimming, fishing, and rafting.
(c) Park- and athletic-field-dependent sports and activities, including soccer, football, rugby, baseball, and lacrosse.
(d) Trail-dependent sports and activities, including hiking, recreational cycling, mountain biking, and recreational equestrianism.
(e) Natural landscape-dependent sports and activities, including wildlife viewing, mountain and rock climbing, and spelunking.
 The director shall administer the Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement.
 The Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement shall do all of the following:
(a) Promote opportunities for both economic and job development within the outdoor recreation sector of the state’s economy.
(b) Monitor, analyze, develop, and coordinate sustainable outdoor recreation policies at the federal, state, and local levels.
(c) Foster connections and communication between government agencies that manage natural resources for outdoor recreation and promote the sustainable use and enhanced stewardship of those resources.
(d) Collaborate with Visit California, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation, to promote the “California State of Mind” brand and to enhance the outdoor active, outdoor passive, entertainment, and culture “experience pillars” of Visit California’s marketing strategy.
(e) Serve as a central point of contact for the national outdoor recreation industry in California.
(f) Promote active healthy lifestyles and improve the quality of life for all Californians by stewarding public lands and minimizing barriers to outdoor recreation opportunities, including for people of color and women.
(g) Work collaboratively with, and create incentives for, private landowners, including land trusts, to explore opportunities to improve private land capabilities to promote a balance of enhanced recreation, public access, and wildlife values.
 (a) The Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement shall, consistent with the purposes of this article, create an advisory group to offer advice, expertise, support, and service to the office, without compensation.
(b) The advisory group may be comprised of representatives from environmental justice communities, outdoor industries, recreation communities, open-space communities, federal entities engaged in public lands management, local, regional, and state parks, and other groups that promote the outdoors and the best available public land management practices, and seek to improve access to outdoor activities, consistent with the purposes of this article.