Waterbury Center, VT – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter today announced VT-OUTDOORS, a plan to expand year-round outdoor recreation opportunities for Vermonters and make the state a magnet for the outdoor industry.
“Outdoor recreation is part of Vermont’s heritage and under my leadership it will be a critical part of the Vermont brand and our economy,” said Minter. “All my life I've been an outdoors-woman. I will champion leading-edge recreational opportunities in Vermont and make this state a welcoming partner to the growing outdoor industry.”
Minter says that actively supporting and promoting outdoor recreation will be a priority in her administration. She noted that from our glorious state parks and companies large and small Vermont has a track record of tapping our love of the outdoors to recreate and grow businesses.
According to the Vermont Outdoor Industry association, the outdoor recreation economy in Vermont includes approximately 34,000 direct Vermont jobs, $753 million in wages and salaries, and generates $176 million in state and local tax revenue.
"As Governor, I will be a champion for our world class recreational landscape. Not only for skiing and snowboard but our great mountain biking and hiking trails, golf courses, skateboard parks, sailing, hunting and fishing and so many other outdoor activities. Our vibrant outdoor culture not only provides good jobs and boosts tourism, it attracts young people looking for communities with a healthy outdoor lifestyle."
Minter’s VT-OUTDOORS plan includes:
Expand Vermont’s world-class trail networks. As Secretary of Transportation, Minter partnered with the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail and Green Mountain Club to enhance hiking and biking. An avid cyclist, Minter has seen how long distance bike trails have become tourism magnets and economic drivers in other states and provinces. She wants to expand these opportunities within Vermont. In addition, Minter's vision is to have an integrated statewide mountain bike trail system. Her administration will work with the Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA) and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) to link up existing trail networks. Minter will partner to help conserve the final six miles of the 273-mile Long Trail, a Vermont jewel.
Promote outdoor recreation & expand hut systems. VT-OUTDOORS will map and promote existing Vermont state parks and trails such as the Long Trail (hiking), Kingdom Trails and Mad River Valley trails (mountain biking), Lake Champlain Paddlers’ Trail (canoe & kayak), Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (biking), Catamount Trail (skiing), Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (skiing & mountain biking), and other burgeoning local networks. She will also promote hut and yurt systems for skiing, hiking and biking, similar to the popular 80-mile long Maine Huts & Trails system. State parks can partner and host these trail networks to promote and attract outdoor recreation and tourism.
Recruit outdoor businesses to Vermont. The Minter administration will energetically pursue outdoor-oriented industries and encourage them to relocate in Vermont, where our schools and environment will attract young active employees. Minter will also designate an Outdoor Recreation Director at the state level to serve as a single point of contact for outdoor businesses interested in Vermont, and young entrepreneurs hoping to break into this booming industry.
Minter will also:
Increase engagement of youth and women in hunting and fishing.
Provide incentives for landowners who host trails.
Explore new and emerging recreation opportunities. This includes backcountry skiing, endurance races, winter biking, among others.
“The outdoor community is filled with tireless volunteers who have played a central role in developing Vermont’s outdoor recreation infrastructure,” says Tom Stuessy, Executive Director of VMBA. “This dedication, combined with equally supportive enthusiasm from the office of the Governor, is essential to keep Vermont as a leader for recreationists and businesses.”
“As governor, I will be an ambassador for Vermont’s world-class outdoors,” says Minter. “I will walk the walk – and ski, ride, paddle and hike – to revitalize our outdoor recreation opportunities and outdoor industry and make sure we are a top destination for anyone and any business looking for adventure.”