Oregon is looking for the right person to lead a new department tasked with improving outdoor recreation in the Beaver State.

The Office of Outdoor Recreation, an office created by the Oregon legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown this summer, will begin to take shape with the hiring of its director.

The post includes leadership of a small team within the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation and pays between $70,000 to $97,000 per year.

Creation of the office was pushed by outdoor recreation businesses and nonprofits in Oregon. The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River.

“People love coming here because our state has a lot to offer,” Johnson said in an interview earlier this year. “But in order to maintain what we’ve got and expand outdoor recreation to parts of the state that don’t have it, we need an intentional voice advocating for outdoor recreation.”

Inspired by similar posts in Utah, Colorado and Washington, the office is expected to become a central point of contact for recreation projects, land management agencies and the outdoor retail industry.

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The first application screening will be conducted Nov. 30. To apply, see this job listing.

“The position will be chiefly concerned with building a collaboration among public, business and nonprofit organizations to elevate and sustain outdoor recreation in every region of Oregon,” a job description posted by OPRD says. “This position will coordinate strategic action on state and national policy, legislation and organizational goals that maximize the long-term benefits to the economy, personal well-being and community livability of public outdoor recreation.”

On a tangible level, the office would seek funding for recreation projects — trail systems, bike parks, water trails — and streamline them through the complex public lands bureaucracy, supporters said previously.

“Right now, any project needs support from multiple overlapping land management agencies, so things just don’t happen,” said Lee Davis, president of the Mazamas, a nonprofit hiking and climbing group that supports the legislation, earlier this year. “There’s nobody in charge. A benefit of this office would be increased efficiency in just getting things done.”

Davis pointed out that one of the biggest impediments to outdoor recreation currently is infrastructure — campgrounds, trails and recreation sites — that were designed decades ago and are falling apart.

Johnson said the office could help spur outdoor recreation to less visited parts of the state. While the Columbia River Gorge and Central Oregon are often overrun by hikers, bikers and campers, places in southwest Oregon often are overlooked.

“The South Coast has wonderful resources but is underutilized,” Johnson said. “What would it take to begin to change that? Maybe grants to help locals develop tourist or recreation facilities? More marketing. Part of this job would be to shine a light on other parts of the state.”

For more details on the position, click on this job posting.

Associate Director, Office of Outdoor Recreation

Minimum qualifications: A Bachelor's Degree in Business or Public Administration, Behavioral or Social Sciences, Finance, Political Science or any degree demonstrating the capacity for the knowledge and skills; and at least five years professional-level evaluative, analytical and planning work experience in outdoor recreation-related field, or a combination of related education and professional experience in an outdoor recreation-related field totaling eight years. Or any combination of experience and education equivalent to eight years of experience that typically supports the knowledge and skills for the classification.

Desired attributes: Preference will be given to candidates who clearly demonstrate the following desired attributes listed below:

  • Experience in organization management (public or private).
  • Professional experience leading programs or projects.
  • Experience leading collaborations of private and public organizations to achieve strategic goals.
  • Experience managing projects or programs related to diversity or community representativeness.

Experience performing the following:

  • Development of goals and objectives for projects or programs.
  • Development or recommendation of rules and policies.
  • Evaluating projects or programs effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and compliance.
  • Preparing or managing a budget.
  • Outdoor enthusiast and evangelist.
  • Leader, motivator who understands the importance of collective action. Team builder or team player, as needed.
  • Communicator and strong public speaker.