BEND, OR -- Calling this the "unofficial recreation capital of Oregon," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) met with 16 representatives of the local outdoor recreation industry to get their feedback on draft recreation legislation created by Wyden. The group expressed concerns over permitting challenges, trade and shipping, the role of volunteers and maintenance of the recreation lands.
Senator Wyden tells KBND it was a unique opportunity for everyone. “You don’t have that many meetings where people take a discussion draft that involves a specific piece of legislation and seem to be going line by line trying to find ways to improve it.”
“They talked, for example, about some of the challenges with respect to permits. They talked about trade. They clearly pointed to specific areas of the bill. The question of the role of volunteers was very important to them. The question of maintenance with respect to special places,” Wyden says. Local outdoor gear manufacturers also explained how shipping out of Central Oregon adds time and cost to their products.
Wyden’s draft bill looks to maximize financial opportunities for recreation interests in Oregon while maintaining the lands on which people recreate.