Recreation economy and graduation rates top Ron’s recent Bend visit

Just weeks after Ron worked to pass major bipartisan public lands legislation, he met with recreation businesses in central Oregon to discuss next steps in continuing to build a strong recreation economy.

“We want recreation to be a big economic engine for central Oregon,” he said at a recreation roundtable in Bend. “We’ve gotten a lot of stuff done and the question is where do we go from here.”

Among the gains Ron cited in the recently passed public lands bill in Oregon are creation of the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, permanent protection for the Chetco River from mining and mineral extraction and the addition of 250 miles to the wild-and-scenic rivers protection list.

He said the next big step to create the conditions for the recreation economy to take advantage of all those public lands gains would be passage of his bipartisan Recreation Not Red Tape (RNR) bill.

The RNR legislation would streamline the permitting process for guides and recreation enthusiasts, hold federal agencies accountable for making outdoor recreation a priority for the first time and increase volunteerism to address the maintenance backlog on public lands.

In Bend, Ron also toured Marshall High School to hear from students and teachers about their successful strategies to raise graduation rates by connecting teen-agers to career paths.

In the Every Student Succeeds Act, Ron worked to add provisions that provide help to schools needing to lift their graduation rates.

“I’m just walking out of here smiling because Marshall is doing the things that I hoped would be encouraged in the law,” Ron said after meeting with students and teachers at Marshall.

The senator’s two meetings in Deschutes County after town halls in Malheur, Union, Morrow and Gilliam counties.