Three brands announced Thursday that they would boycott Outdoor Retailer in Utah to show support for public lands.
Arc’teryx will pull out of Outdoor Retailer this summer and reallocate its OR budget to donate to the Conservation Alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund, the brand said late Thursday afternoon.
“The outdoor industry has an obligation to protect the wild places that are important to our consumers,” Arc’teryx President Jon Hoerauf said in a press release. “Protecting public lands for future generations is a critical part of our brand values, and we will use our influence in a way that is consistent with those values.”
The brand says it will increase its funding commitment to the Conservation Alliance by $150,000 over the next three years, and that Hoerauf will join the organization in Washington, D.C. in March to speak with legislators directly about public lands issues.
Two other brands also announced on Thursday that they would boycott the show: photo accessory brand Peak Design and Utah-based Power Practical, which makes outdoor electronics and charging accessories.
The three brands say they’re following the lead of Patagonia, which announced on Tuesday that it would no longer attend Outdoor Retailer shows in Utah because of a long history of legislators there fighting against federal ownership of public lands. Last Friday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution asking President Donald Trump to revoke the protected status of Bears Ears National Monument, which former President Barack Obama designated during his final days in office. A few days earlier, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he was persuaded by the sportsman community to kill a bill he introduced to sell off “excess” federal lands. He did not say whether he would drop a second bill that would strip the Forest Service of law enforcement capabilities.
Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, wrote an open letter to the industry on Wednesday, asking manufacturers and retailers to band together and commit to attending the show. Outdoor Retailer and OIA are proactively looking for a new home for the trade show.
“We have no intention of simply withdrawing from dialogue with public officials and fighting this one only in the media,” she wrote. “That is the wrong strategy if we want to have a real and sustained impact. We need everyone to stay involved and dig in, and that means having real conversations with people who disagree with us and our supporters.”
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that a fourth company, Kammok, which makes hammocks, will not be exhibiting at Outdoor Retailer for reasons other than boycotting Utah. The cost of exhibiting is too expensive for the brand, Kammok says.