Today Governor Shapiro presented his first budget proposal for the Commonwealth, which included much-needed increases in funding for both the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) to better support state park and forest maintenance, air quality monitoring, public safety, climate resilience, and other key efforts.
In addition, the Governor recognized an important opportunity that may not receive immediate attention, but will provide significant benefits for Pennsylvania’s residents and economy in the years to come: the organization of an Office of Outdoor Recreation. PEC has advocated for the establishment of an Office of Outdoor Recreation for several years to leverage and enrich the tremendous natural resources across our state. Outdoor recreation contributes $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.
By formalizing the Office and directing state agencies to work together to advance recreational opportunities in the Commonwealth, the Governor’s proposal helps build on the tremendous work that DCNR, other state agencies, businesses large and small, communities, and others have achieved to make Pennsylvania a destination for outdoor tourism.
PEC looks forward to continuing its work on these efforts across the state, and commend the Governor for making recreation a core part of his vision for Pennsylvania.