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Outdoor recreation survey to help shape future projects in Nevada

What should the future of outdoor recreation look like in Nevada? What should dollars earmarked for the purpose be put toward? What kind of projects do Nevadans want to see over the course of the next few years?

These questions are at the heart of the effort to create Nevada’s 2022-2026 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, or SCORP, a document that will be used to help guide the Silver State’s outdoor recreation future and residents all across the state have the chance to have their say in the matter, with a new survey on the subject now available.

“Do you enjoy exploring Nevada’s public lands, parks, trails and waterways? Would you like to see new bike paths, playgrounds, or other outdoor recreation infrastructure in your community?” a press release from the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources queries residents. “Right now, all Nevadans have the opportunity to weigh in on key topics like these to help shape the future of outdoor recreation in their neighborhoods, communities and Nevada-wide.”

The SCORP survey has been made available through the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation and the Nevada Division of State Parks, which are working together to gather input from the public over the next month. When completed, the SCORP survey will provide the state with a multitude of data that will be used to help prioritize the award of federal funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to state and local communities, which will in turn utilize those funds to acquire and develop outdoor recreation areas for the enjoyment of their residents as well as visitors to the Silver State.

According to the press release, Nevada is required to update its SCORP every five years in order to receive federal dollars from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has provided a financial boost for the state’s recreations visions since 1964. In the intervening years, Nevada has received over $50 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has gone toward the development of more than 360 outdoor recreation projects scattered throughout the state.

With the Great American Outdoors Act providing full funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund in late 2020, Nevada is set to see over $3.8 million in annual Land and Water Conservation Fund monies, up nearly $1 million compared to previous years, and residents will play a big role in deciding just how those fund are to be used from 2022 to 2026.

“The significant increase in federal LWCF means even more dollars will be put to work in Nevada,” Nevada Division of State Parks Deputy Administrator Janice Keillor was quoted as stating. “LWCF is the only dedicated funding source for developing outdoor recreation opportunities and plays an important role in bringing outdoor recreation such as trails, playgrounds and parks to all corners of Nevada.”

In addition to prioritization of funding awards, the SCORP helps the state in analyzing state and national outdoor recreation trends and their correlating economic impacts. The SCORP also gives the state the opportunity to inventory its outdoor recreation resources and identify gaps in those resources, the press release detailed. Finally, the SCORP will assist in the development of a vision for improving outdoor recreation opportunities.

“Outdoor recreation is integral to life in Nevada,” Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation Administrator Colin Robertson stated. “Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen firsthand that being able to escape to the outdoors is increasingly critical for our mental and physical health and well-being. As Nevada’s population continues to grow, the development of sustainable and responsible recreation will also serve as a growth driver that will further diversify and strengthen Nevada’s economy.”

“By taking a few minutes to complete the SCORP survey, you can help ensure Nevada remains the number one place to live, work and play while preserving the Silver State’s celebrated outdoor heritage for generations to come,” Keillor encouraged. “We thank you for your support!”

The SCORP survey is available online at www.parks.nv.gov from now until March 31. Simply click on the “Take the Survey” link at the top of the webpage. The survey is available in both English and Spanish and should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

For more information on the SCORP survey email score@dcnr.nv.gov

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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