Outdoor Retailer will return to Utah, despite state’s opposition to public lands

Mar 24, 2022

The country’s largest outdoor gear trade show will return to Salt Lake City next year, leaving Denver, where the show has been held for the past five years. Outdoor Retailer left Utah in 2017 after the state’s leaders petitioned former President Donald Trump to shrink Bears Ears National Monument.

“Salt Lake City and County is our hometown, and we’re going back with a commitment to effecting meaningful change,” Outdoor Retailer Senior Vice President and Show Director Marisa Nicholson and Emerald Group Vice President Jeff Davis said in a joint statement.

Outdoor Retailer also touted its relationship with the mayor of Salt Lake City, who the company said shares its commitment to clean energy and public lands. But the move could force a number of major outdoor brands to make good on a promise to boycott the trade show if it moves back to Utah, citing the state’s ongoing litigation to undo the restoration of Bears Ears National Monument.

“It’s clear those in charge of the Outdoor Retailer trade show did not learn their lesson. Politicians in Utah have continued to wage war on public lands conservation and their harmful efforts show no signs of slowing down,” said Center for Western Priorities Executive Director Jennifer Rokala. “Outdoor recreation is booming in the West, fueling local economies and driving calls to protect more public lands. Leaders in the outdoor industry should recognize their growing power and not reward the bad behavior of extreme anti-conservation politicians.”

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Quote of the day

”Essentially, the Bureau of Land Management … has been failing to manage grazing on public lands to a large extent… The bureau has largely failed to comply with the law, and has a massive backlog of permits that don’t have current NEPA analysis and don’t have current land health evaluations.”

—Josh Osher, Western Watersheds Project’s public policy director, E&E News

Picture this

mesa lit up orange by sunset or sunrise

Imagine a wild land of rugged rock formations dotted with ancient petroglyphs and dinosaur fossils. Wind blows through gnarled piñon and juniper. Bikers, photographers, and solitude seekers explore stark beauty.

Can you see it? You’re in Ojito Wilderness! #WildernessWednesday

(featured image: Salt Lake City skyline, Garrett, Flickr)