RBOC is expressing to the author and proponents of AB 1918 [Garcia] the organization's support for the concept of promoting sustainable outdoor recreation as well as economic development and job growth within the outdoor recreation economy. AB 1918 proposes the establishment of a new Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation.
RBOC is also advocating that there are open questions and key issues that must be answered and addressed as legislation is pursued to create this new entity in state government. These include:
- The position of the new office in state government – The exact position of the office within the Natural Resources Agency must be stated clearly in the legislation. This will enable stakeholders and interested parties to understand the standing of the proposed office and its relationship with other entities.
- The functions of the new office - It is important that the functions of the new office be very clear in the law, and that those functions do not impede, supersede, cannibalize or duplicate the important functions currently performed by other entities of state government.
- The funding of the new office – It is important that the sources of public funding are set forth in the legislation, existing fees and taxes paid by recreational boaters are not re-directed to the office, and the office does not have statutory authority to impose fees on recreational boaters.
California offers remarkable, extensive and unique recreational opportunities. Californians – including recreational boaters - understand and appreciate the intrinsic value of outdoor recreation, its contributions to the economy including jobs and tourism, and the opportunities to grow each of these values.
This perspective has already become integrated into the very fabric of state government in many ways. A decision to establish a new entity in government should be predicated upon the foundation established by these significant initiatives, respect the tremendous financial commitments that our citizens continue to contribute each year, and focus on clear new objectives that cannot be achieved through existing efforts.
RBOC appreciates being part of this dialogue, and looks forward to further discussions.