Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2061
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Full Text of SB2061  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/26/2021, by Sen. Craig Wilcox


New Act

    Creates the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Act. Establishes the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry within the Department of Natural Resources. Provides that the Governor shall appoint the Director of the Office. Provides that the Director shall appoint an Outdoor Recreation Industry Advisory Council to provide guidance to the Director in carrying out the purposes of the Office. Adds provisions governing the composition, duties, and operation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry.

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1    AN ACT concerning outdoor recreation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Office
5of Outdoor Recreation Industry Act.
6    Section 5. Purposes. The General Assembly finds and
7declares that:
8    (1) The outdoor recreation industry does more than bring
9joy to millions of Americans. It helps drive our economy. In
102019, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released national
11statistics that demonstrate the economic output of outdoor
12recreation to be $778 billion, surpassing industries such as
13mining, utilities, farming and ranching, and chemical products
15    (2) According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the
16outdoor recreation industry is growing rapidly, eclipsing the
17overall GDP increase.
18    (3) Outdoor recreation generates millions of high-quality,
19high-paying jobs from coast to coast and across a wide variety
20of industries, ranging from manufacturing to retail to
21tourism. These jobs play a critical role in the economic
22health of local and state economies.
23    (4) The Bureau of Economic Analysis's 2019 State-level



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1data show that outdoor recreation in Illinois contributes
2$15.6 Billion of Value Added (GDP) to the State's economy and
3directly supports 165,565 jobs.
4    (5) Illinois' protected public lands comprise less than
510% of the State. The State of Illinois manages 309 State parks
6and recreational sites on more than 475,000 acres of land.
7    (6) The public spaces for outdoor recreation are drivers
8of tourism to Illinois.
9    (7) Increasing access to the outdoors and participation in
10outdoor recreation programs and services of the outdoor
11recreation economy are critical to improving the health and
12wellness of all residents, maintaining residents' quality of
13life, and developing future environmental stewards and
14conservationists to build on our public lands heritage.
15    (8) Promoting and enhancing Illinois' outdoor recreation
16economy will benefit all residents and can particularly
17support rural communities that are gateways to outdoor
18recreation locations and opportunities.
19    (9) Seventeen states have already created an Office of
20Outdoor Recreation Industry to increase investment in and
21support the booming outdoor recreation economy in their
22respective states.
23    Section 10. Definition. In this Act, "outdoor recreation"
24means a pursuit that occurs in a natural environment or
25physical landscape, including various active and passive,



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1motorized and nonmotorized sports and activities.
2    Section 15. Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry;
3Director; appointment; Outdoor Recreation Industry Advisory
5    (a) There is created within the Department of Natural
6Resources the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry.
7    (b) The Governor shall appoint a Director of the Office.
8    (c) The Director shall report to the Director of Natural
9Resources and may appoint staff.
10    (d) The Director shall assure that the duties of the
11Office provided in Section 20 are fulfilled.
12    (e) The Director shall appoint an Outdoor Recreation
13Industry Advisory Council to provide guidance to the Director
14in carrying out the purposes of the Office. The Council shall
15consist of no more than 20 members and the Director shall
16publish a public notice soliciting applicants for Council
18    (f) Council members shall represent interests that conduct
19business in this State and that share the goal of promoting the
20growth of the outdoor recreation economy and outdoor
21recreation activities, not to exclude nonprofit organizations.
22    (g) Representation on the Council shall include a variety
23of outdoor recreation opportunities and industries that
24contribute to this State's economy, as determined by the
25Director. For purposes of this Section, "outdoor recreation



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1opportunities and industries" includes, but is not limited to:
2archery; hunting; fishing; boating; horseback riding; hiking,
3running, and other fitness activities; bicycling; winter and
4water sports and recreation; recreation vehicles and
5campgrounds; motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and other
6motorized recreation; trails and other outdoor recreation
7infrastructure; guides, outfitters, and other outdoor
8businesses that depend upon public lands; lodging and other
9visitor services; conservation and stewardship; real estate
10and community development; public health and wellness;
11education and workforce training; and financial and digital
12institutions and services.
13    Section 20. Duties of the Office. The Office of Outdoor
14Recreation Industry shall:
15    (1) increase outdoor recreation-based economic
16development, tourism and ecotourism in the State by attracting
17outdoor recreation industries to this State; developing the
18growth of new business opportunities within this State; and
19marketing, advertising and securing media opportunities that
20reflect the opportunities for outdoor recreation in this
22    (2) promote the growth of the outdoor recreation economy
23in this State by increasing and promoting access to the
24outdoors, especially in under-parked or underrepresented or
25urban and rural communities, or both, and providing



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1opportunities for stewardship and conservation of natural
3    (3) coordinate with federal and State agencies and local
4government entities in the State on matters related to the
5purposes described in this Act when the Director determines
6the coordination necessary or beneficial;
7    (4) recommend to the Governor policies and initiatives to
8enhance recreational amenities and experiences in the State,
9help implement those policies and initiatives, and report on
10the impacts of those policies and initiatives;
11    (5) develop or support, or both, development of data
12regarding the impacts of outdoor recreation in this State
13while ensuring national data are used as a benchmark factor in
14agency decision making;
15    (6) promote the health and social benefits of outdoor
17    (7) advocate on behalf of the State for federal funding
18and participation in federal programs;
19    (8) create and maintain a statewide list of lands to be
20conserved, enhanced, or publicized for outdoor recreation; and
21    (9) apply for government or private grants to benefit the
22purposes outlined in this Act.