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Lansing – A new panel will offer suggestions to state officials on how to boost Michigan’s outdoor recreation economy.

The Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council includes representatives from the manufacturing, retail and service sectors, as well as employers in health, community finance and other industries.

It will be led by Chris Tracy, a member of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.

One task will be identifying data-collection mechanisms to provide better service to outdoor enthusiasts and offer opportunities to entrepreneurs. The council also will look for ways to improve recreation facilities.

The recommendations will go to the Natural Resources Commission and the Department of Natural Resources.

An industry study says outdoor recreation generates $26 billion of consumer spending each year in Michigan and supports 232,000 jobs.

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