Champion of Arkansas' Natural Beauty
Bryan Chatfield Sanders, the First Gentleman of the state of Arkansas, is a passionate advocate for the preservation and enhancement of the Natural State's natural wonders. His love for the great outdoors, combined with his deep commitment to conservation, has led him to take on the role of Chairman of the newly established Natural State Advisory Council.
Bryan's connection to Arkansas's pristine landscapes runs deep. He values the serene moments that the Natural State offers and finds solace and enjoyment in the heart of its magnificent scenery. His favorite pastime, mountain biking, serves as a means of exploring the picturesque landscapes that Arkansas boasts. These outdoor adventures hold a special place in his heart, not just for the thrill they bring but for the unique opportunities they provide to bond with his family and create lasting memories in the midst of nature's beauty.
Recognizing the boundless potential of Arkansas's outdoor resources, Chairman Bryan Sanders has taken the lead in establishing the Natural State Initiative. This visionary project aims to position Arkansas as a frontrunner in the outdoor economy and as a global destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Chairman Sanders passionately remarks, "Arkansas is called the Natural State for a reason – and no one understands that better than the leaders who will join me on the Natural State Advisory Council. The benefits of outdoor recreation are limitless, from improved health and quality of life to stronger tourism, workforce, and economic development. Working together, we will establish our state as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts from around the world and take our outdoor economy to the next level."
The Natural State Advisory Council, under Chairman Sanders's leadership, will play a pivotal role in shaping the state's future in outdoor recreation and conservation. The council's responsibilities encompass a wide array of actions, including coordinating with various state departments and agencies:
- Collaborating with the Arkansas Department of Commerce to promote the state's growing outdoor recreation industry, attract new outdoor recreation businesses, and explore the development of outdoor recreation opportunity zones near state parks.
- Partnering with the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism to maintain and expand Arkansas's world-class trail systems, develop innovative marketing strategies, and enhance the overall outdoor recreation experience at state parks.
- Coordinating with the Governor's chief workforce officer and workforce cabinet to cultivate a skilled workforce for the outdoor recreation industry.
- Collaborating with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration and the Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services to enhance food, beverage, and vendor services in support of outdoor recreation.
- Conducting a comprehensive review of the tax and regulatory environment to identify opportunities for growth in the outdoor economy and to advance the objectives of the Natural State Initiative.
The Natural State Advisory Council, led by Chairman Bryan Sanders, will present an annual written report to the Governor summarizing their recommendations for advancing outdoor recreation and the outdoor economy in Arkansas. This initiative represents a profound commitment to preserving the natural beauty of Arkansas while harnessing its potential for economic growth and sustainable tourism. Bryan Sanders's dedication to this cause ensures that the Natural State will continue to thrive and be celebrated for generations to come.
Sanders, the state's first first gentleman, is on a quest to visit all 52 parks in 2023, the centennial of Arkansas' state park system. He feels that such sacred spaces are as much about what stirs the soul as what meets the eye.