Rep. Dan Howell Elected Chairman Of Ocoee River Recreation And Economic Development Fund Board

  • Friday, September 23, 2022
State Rep. Dan Howell
State Rep. Dan Howell

State Rep. Dan Howell has been unanimously elected to serve as the next chairman of the Ocoee River Recreation and Economic Development Fund Board. 

The 15-member state board was established by the General Assembly in 2017 to support recreational water activity on the Ocoee River, oversee its management zone and encourage economic growth along the waterway.

“Every year, visitors flock to southeast Tennessee to enjoy the Ocoee River and experience the natural beauty of the surrounding area,” Rep. Howell said. “It is vital that we capitalize on that interest by expanding opportunities for tourists to experience all of the hiking, biking, hunting and river activities that the area has to offer. I am extremely honored to be chosen as chairman, and look forward to serving all of those who benefit from the Ocoee River.”

Rep. Howell was elected to a two-year term as board chairman. He can serve up to three terms or six years in the role. The position was previously held by former State Senator Mike Bell who stepped down in August to become the senior advisor for legislative affairs and policy for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Located in the Cherokee National Forest, the Ocoee River features 10 miles of rapids that are available to raft commercially. It also features the only natural Olympic whitewater course in the world.

With 24 outfitters operating along the stretch of river, the Ocoee remains the most popular tourist attraction in Polk County. The industry accounted for $38 million in total business sales countywide during 2021, according to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. There are 363 individuals employed by the industry locally. 

Additional information about the Ocoee River Recreation and Economic Development Fund Board can be found here.

Rep. Howell represents House District 22, which includes Meigs, Polk and part of Bradley counties. He can be reached at or by calling (615) 741-7799.

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