Office of Outdoor Recreation

Michigan is well positioned to become a national leader in outdoor recreation -- boosting our economy and strengthening our state’s commitment to conservation. We believe that a dedicated state office can make it happen.

When you think of our country’s great outdoor recreation destinations, you likely picture the mountains of Colorado or the forested coasts of Oregon. At Michigan Environmental Council, we think Michigan should be held in similar esteem -- a place known nationally as a leader in outdoor adventure and one of the best places for an active outdoor life. 

Michigan is home to more coastline than any other state in the contiguous U.S. We have more public land than any state east of the Mississippi; 102 state parks, thousands of miles of trails and some of the wildest and most remote National Parks in the country. These outdoor assets draw millions of visitors every year and contribute billions to our state’s economy. In fact, Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry is one of the largest in the country with great potential for growth.

MEC asked the Governor to establish the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office to focus on supporting our growing outdoor recreation economy -- creating new jobs and drawing young talent to our state -- while also deepening our state’s commitment to conservation and environmental protection. 

We're happy to report that in 2019 our policy proposal became a reality: Governor Whitmer created the Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry, and Brad Garmon, our long-time director of conservation and emerging issues, was appointed to lead it!

Check out our Capitol Connection webinar with Brad on his progress leading the Office, what is in store and the efforts he and the outdoor recreation industry are making to bring people long underrepresented and gatekept from outdoor activities into the movement.