Patagonia Withdraws from Outdoor Retailer over Bears Ears National Monument

"The Outdoor Industry Loves Utah; Does Utah Love the Outdoor Industry?​" - Yvon Chouinard

I grew up in Utah and some of my earliest and fondest memories are of camping in the desert in Southern Utah. I have a deep sense of pride and gratitude for the state's public lands and if you ask me, outdoor recreation is the best thing Utah has going for it.

People from across the world seem to agree. Every year millions of people flock to Utah to ski, hike, rock climb, camp, mountain bike, and much more. It’s no wonder that one of the largest outdoor industry trade shows, Outdoor Retailer, is held in Salt Lake City twice a year.

Unfortunately, that may not be the case for much longer. On Friday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert called on President Trump to rescind the recently anointed Bears Ears National Monument. In response, organizers of the Outdoor Retailer event are soliciting offers from alternative host cities.

Patagonia made their feelings on the matter quite clear by opting out of this summer’s OR show in Salt Lake City. Rose Marcario, President and CEO, Patagonia, Inc. had this to say in a press release:

"Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution on Friday urging the Trump administration to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument, making it clear that he and other Utah elected officials do not support public lands conservation nor do they value the economic benefits - $12 billion in consumer spending and 122,000 jobs – that the outdoor recreation industry brings to their state. Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah and we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation."  

That last line will be the kicker, if you ask me. Patagonia is the leading brand voice in environmental activism and this is a huge statement. How many other brands, organizations, and individuals will follow suit?

Want to learn more about the controversy over the Bears Ears National Monument and Outdoor Retailer? Check out these links:

Utah Representative Wants Bears Ears Gone And He Wants Trump To Do It

The Outdoor Industry Loves Utah; Does Utah Love the Outdoor Industry?

Obama's Environmental Legacy, in Two Buttes

The Impermanence of our National Monuments

Cover photo: Seth LangubauerClimbing in Indian Creek

Published: February 8, 2017

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