SECTION 1. Chapter 21A of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following new section:
Section XXXX. (a) There shall be within the executive office of environmental affairs, the office of outdoor recreation, hereinafter in this chapter referred to as the “office”. It shall be the duty of the office to serve as an agency of the commonwealth to promote and market outdoor recreational activities of the commonwealth to the public, to support economic development in the commonwealth and to improve the quality of life, health and well-being of residents in the commonwealth. The secretary of energy and environmental affairs shall designate a competent and qualified person to be the director of the office of outdoor recreation.
The words “outdoor recreation”, as used herein, shall include, but not be limited to, activities that occur in a natural environment or physical landscape, including various active and passive sports and activities, including, but not limited to: trail-dependent sports and activities, including hiking, recreational cycling, mountain biking and recreational equestrianism; natural landscape-dependent sports and activities, including wildlife viewing, mountain and rock climbing; water-dependent sports and activities, including water skiing, swimming, surfing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and other paddle sports; snow-dependent sports and activities, including skiing and sledding.
(b) In carrying out its duties the office shall:
(i) coordinate and collaborate with the executive office of energy and environmental affairs, the executive office of housing and economic development, the Massachusetts office of travel and tourism, the department of public health, and such other departments, boards, officials and institutions of the commonwealth as may be concerned with matters under its supervision, as well as the outdoor recreation industry, outdoor recreation community, environmental community, natural resources community, and other common stakeholders, including private and public entities, to promote economic development and outdoor recreation in the commonwealth;
(ii) assist in developing or updating the outdoor recreation management strategies of the department;
(iii) serve as a public resource and information center for the outdoor recreation industry and common stakeholders in the commonwealth;
(iv) collect, record and analyze data on the social, economic, health and resource impacts of outdoor recreation in the commonwealth, provided that said impacts shall include, but not limited to, the social, economic, health and resource impacts on youth, low-income, urban or disparate communities in the commonwealth;
(v) recommend or implement policies and initiatives to enhance recreational amenities and experiences in the commonwealth, provided that said policies and initiatives shall improve access for youth, low-income, urban or disparate communities;
(vi) recommend or implement policies and initiatives to increase access to recreational amenities and experiences in the commonwealth, provided that said policies and initiatives shall improve access for youth, low-income, urban or disparate communities;
(vii) promote the health, social and economic benefits of outdoor recreation in coordination with related state programs and initiatives and other public and private entities related to outdoor recreation;
(viii) coordinate and collaborate with outdoor recreation offices, agencies, or departments in other states to develop best practices;
(ix) annually, on or before March 30th, submit a report that details an analysis of data collected on the health, social and economic impacts of outdoor recreation in the commonwealth. The report shall be made in consultation with, but not limited to, the executive office of energy and environmental affairs, the Massachusetts office of travel and tourism, executive office of housing and economic development, and the department of public health. The report shall be filed with the governor, clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the joint committee on tourism, arts and cultural development, the joint committee on economic development, and the joint committee on the environment, natural resources and agriculture. The report shall be posted on the official website of the commonwealth.
(c) The office may expend funds appropriated by the general court for purposes of carrying out this section and as may be appropriate to carry out subparagraph (d) of this section.
(d) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund known as the Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, hereinafter in this section referred to as “the fund”. The director shall administer the fund for purposes of providing competitive grant or loan opportunities to programs, projects and initiatives of organizations, businesses and other public or private entities determined to support or promote the mission of the office.
The fund shall consist of public and private sources such as gifts, grants and donations, interest earned on gifts, grants and donations, and any funds provided from other sources. Revenues remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund and shall be available for expenditure in the following fiscal year. The director shall report annually on the activities of the fund to the clerks of the house and senate and the house and senate committees on ways and means.
(e) The department shall promulgate regulations necessary for the administration of this section.
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