At a historic event in Denver, Colo., on July 25, eight states ratified the Confluence Accords to create a partnership around the shared values and practices within the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry. Outdoor Recreation Industry Office delegates from participating states met in early July in Asheville, N.C., to finalize the principles and language for the Accords.
According to a press release, SylvanSport founder/CEO Tom Dempsey and numerous other North Carolina representatives were instrumental in steering the process that lead to the final Confluence Accords. The Confluence Accords rest on four principles: economic development, conservation and stewardship, education and workforce training, and public health and wellness. This bipartisan alliance provides a way for the states to share knowledge and best practices within the outdoor industry to support sustainable, long-term economic growth.
The accords are the result of seven months of collaboration by the states that have a formal office promoting the outdoor recreation industry. Representatives from Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington are all signatories.
“The Confluence Accords are the foundation to strengthening the outdoor recreation industry’s impact on the economy, at the local, state and national level,” says Dempsey. “Manufacturing, education, tourism and retail all create a diverse economic ecosystem that promotes the well-being of the people in that area, as well as the lands that they use.”
What makes the Confluence Accords so important is how the outdoor recreation industry has worked across state and party lines to create an agreement on how to move forward with a single voice based on the four principles. This is a first for any industry of this size, the release stated.
“It’s been a fantastic and humbling experience to work with the leaders from the eight states in developing the final Confluence Accords,” said Dempsey. “The dedication and hard work by everyone involved has created a framework for other states to follow and increased awareness of the true size of the outdoor recreation industry.”
Four more states — Kansas, Michigan, Arkansas and Maryland — plan on signing the accord when the state office delegates meet again for the Confluence Summit in January.