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Outdoor Industry Speaks Out Against Bears Ears Repeal

Ben Duchac
Creative Commons

The powerful outdoor-recreation industry is weighing in on the fight over Bears Ears National Monument in Southeast Utah.

The Utah legislature recently passed, and Governor Gary Herbert signed, a resolution calling for President Trump to overturn the newly proclaimed monument. On Tuesday, industry giant Patagonia announced it will boycott the twice-yearly Outdoor Retailer show if it is held as usual in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that organizers are seeking proposals from other cities to host the event, which has been in Utah since 1996. In a January op-ed in the Tribune, Black Diamond Equipment founder Peter Metcalf accused Herbert and the state’s congressional delegation of an “all-out assault” on public lands. Metcalf said their goals are “to take down our newest national monument, Bears Ears, gut the Antiquities Act, starve funding from federal land management agencies and transfer our country's public lands to state ownership.” Metcalf wrote that outdoor recreation in Utah produces $12 billion in consumer spending annually and supports 122,000 jobs. In a press release Tuesday, Patagonia owner Yvon Choinard agreed, writing, “You’d think politicians in Utah would bend over backward to make us feel welcome.” Instead, he wrote, they push extractive industries that produce fewer jobs. He accused Herbert of creating “a hostile environment that puts our industry at risk.”

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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