Axie Navas, director of the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division, has been elected co-chair of the Confluence of States, a bipartisan agreement between 13 states to promote and grow the outdoor economy in the U.S.

The Confluence of States was established in 2018 by Colorado, North Carolina, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming to serve as a single voice for the outdoor industry. Nevada, New Mexico, Maine, Michigan and Virginia joined the group in 2019.

Navas is New Mexico’s first outdoor recreation director. The division within the New Mexico Economic Development Department was created in 2019 by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Navas will co-chair the group with Nathan Fey, director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation.

“This honor is a great opportunity for New Mexico to continue growing its national leadership role in the outdoor industry, a reputation it established with the creation of the first-ever Outdoor Equity Fund,” Navas said in a statement. “New Mexico has outpaced the national average in growth in the outdoor recreation economy, and is committed to the industry as a way to further diversify our economy.”

The Outdoor Equity Fund in its first year awarded about $262,000 to 25 organizations to create transformative outdoor experiences for low-income youth.

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