Twenty five of the outdoor industry’s biggest brands (including Patagonia, REI and The North Face) announced they will not attend the Outdoor Retailer trade show if it is moved from Denver to Salt Lake City, citing Utah’s poor record on protecting public lands. The brands made their views known in a press release published by the Conservation Alliance, calling out Utah as “a state that leads the fight against designated national monuments and public lands.”
The Outdoor Retailer show moved from Salt Lake City to Denver in 2017 after several outdoor brands, including Patagonia, took a stand in February, 2017 after Utah lawmakers asked President Donald Trump to repeal the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument. By December, President Trump had reduced the size of the monument by 85% and Patagonia sued the administration.
The City of Denver’s contract to host the show will expire at the end of this year, kicking off a bidding war between Denver, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Orlando, or Salt Lake City. Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia said in a statement, “Our position on the location of the Outdoor Retailer trade show remains clear and unchanged: The show belongs in a state whose top officials value and seek to protect public lands.”
While President Biden has restored protections for Bears Ears, The Conservation Alliance says Utah’s political leaders are still trying to undermine monuments. Despite Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s efforts to lure the show back to Utah, the state-led opposition to restoring 2 million acres of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments tells a different story.
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Quote of the day
Tracy’s [Stone-Manning] kind of superpower is how collaborative she is, like the fact that she can go into, you know, a union hall, or a ranchers association, or to a coal mine and be as comfortable as she is in a room with a bunch of NGOs.”