Massive outdoor industry trade show gets closer to leaving state in protest
It’s no secret that Utah’s elected officials have led a sustained attack against national public lands. Now it seems that leading outdoor recreation companies, which depend on public lands for their business, have had enough. Governor Gary Herbert is seeking to quell a growing movement to move the massive Outdoor Retailer trade show out of Utah, but it’s not that easy for a tiger to change its stripes. Just this week Utah’s legislature advanced a proposal to give hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to nonprofits specifically to sue the federal government over public lands.
On Monday, an appropriations subcommittee of Utah’s state legislature voted to give $250,000 to two nonprofits, the Foundation for Integrated Resource Management (FIRM) and Rural Utah Alliance. FIRM, founded in 2016, has actively opposed Bears Ears National Monument and seeks to “file legal actions and communicate with the public” on anti-public lands issues. Rural Utah Alliance, initially registered by a lawyer for Phil Lyman, the San Juan County Commissioner convicted of leading an illegal ATV ride into archaeologically-sensitive Recapture Canyon, takes taxpayer money from state and county coffers and claims to offer legal advice to counties regarding national public lands. (more…)