During the 2017 legislative session, an effort supported by the majority of Montana’s recreation community to create a new office of outdoor recreation failed in committee. However Governor Steve Bullock, seeing the potential value of such a venture, created the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation. Several other states have similar offices including Wyoming, Utah, Washington and Colorado. Rachel VandeVoort assumed the duties as the first director of Montana’s Office.
Rachel has recently been employed at Kimber Firearms as their Trade Relations Manager. She grew up hunting, fishing and exploring northwest Montana. She has made a point of teaching others outdoor skills by working in the outdoor recreation industry and by mentoring newcomers through programs like Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, partnering with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. VandeVoort is always outside—rafting, camping, fly fishing, hunting and skiing.
In order to assess the outdoor recreation needs and wants of all of Montana’s public, Rachel will begin visiting many outdoor recreation associations and clubs and communities. Her job is a big one but all of our input will be important to accomplish the mission.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association’s new figures, outdoor recreation generates $7 billion per year in consumer spending and supports over 70,000 jobs that pay more than $2 billion worth of wages. The Office of Outdoor Recreation will help Montana derive even more benefit from what is now the largest sector of our economy.
Your Montana Trails Vehicle Riders Association will be in contact with Rachel to help her understand the needs and desires of Montana’s OHV community!