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Blog

Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.

 

Outdoor Alliance coalition encourages Utah lawmakers to reverse course on public lands

Tania Lown-Hecht

The Wasatch range, just 20 minutes outside of Salt Lake City.

The Wasatch range, just 20 minutes outside of Salt Lake City.

Today, Outdoor Alliance and its eight member groups released a statement in response to Utah public land policy and the future of Outdoor Retailer in Utah. Outdoor Alliance and its member groups attend the Outdoor Retailer trade show, held in Utah twice a year, to meet with each other, our partners, and key members of the industry. We have long enjoyed gathering together in Salt Lake City, and getting outside in the Wasatch before and after the show.

Over the last few years, Utah’s state government and its congressional delegation have adopted increasingly extreme positions on American public lands. These include:

  • Legislation proposing the outright sale of our country’s public lands;
  • Legislation proposing to transfer national public lands to the State—where they would be immediately under pressure for intensive resource development, new user fees, or privatization;
  • Threats to sue the federal government to wrest control of our country’s public land away from its rightful owners, the American public;
  • Legislation to undermine the integrity of the Antiquities Act, a core conservation law; and
  • Efforts to roll back existing protective designations at Grand Escalante National Monument and the recently designated Bears Ears National Monument.

These threats, along with direct attacks on public land management (like H.R. 622 and S.J. Res. 15), puts all our outdoor recreation resources at risk.  As representatives of the outdoor recreation user community, Outdoor Alliance shared a statement in response to these threats, in particular to the recent threat to roll back or shrink National Monuments in the state:

“Outdoor Alliance views Utah’s positions on our public lands as an existential threat to our American heritage and antithetical to our interests and values as citizen co-owners of our country’s public lands. We share recent assessments from outdoor businesses that ongoing actions by Utah lawmakers do not reflect the public interest and are a threat to the outdoor recreation industry and all Americans who recreate on and enjoy our country’s public lands. We commend these companies for taking a stand for the interests of the outdoor recreation community, their employees, and their customers. We support the decision by the Outdoor Industry Association to reevaluate whether Outdoor Retailer should continue to be held in Utah after 2018. Additionally, we endorse the letter shared with the governor by industry leaders on February 14.”

To read the full statement, click here.