Why the OIA just sent a letter to Trump

More than 350 businesses signed the letter asking the president to protect our lands.
Author:
Publish date:
Trump letter

It’s no secret that some of the proposed changes by the Trump administration are leaving the outdoor industry infuriated. On October 19, the Outdoor Industry Association wrote a letter to the commander in chief calling upon him to protect our nation’s lands. More than 350 American companies signed this letter in hopes he would keep current protections for our land and water.

We talked with Alexander Boian, Vice President of Government Affairs and OIAPAC Treasurer for the Outdoor Industry Association and asked him some questions about this letter:

Q: What specific changes do you hope this letter achieves?

We hope this letter compels the president and his administration to pay more attention to the importance of protecting our nation’s public lands to the health of our economy, our communities, and the health of our citizens.

Specifically, we would like to see President Trump support our nation’s public lands rather than making decisions that will limit access and lower protections.

We want the president to be aware that the bipartisan Outdoor Industry is watching his decisions related to national monuments, the Antiquities Act, National Park Fees and other public land related issues and that the administration cannot simply gut public lands protections without a fight.

Q: Clearly the President has a lot on his plate. Is he listening or is this falling on deaf ears?

Anytime an entire industry writes a letter to the president, it's going to get noticed. We are only nine months into the president’s term and the Outdoor Industry has definitely made a dent in the President’s efforts to eliminate national monuments. The Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee wanted him to go much further and eliminate Utah’s monuments, but that is unlikely to be in the final announcement. That said, the president’s actions have coalesced, galvanized our industry. Protecting public lands, preserving our American heritage should never have been something we needed to fight for, but fight we must, and fight we will.

Q: A lot of people might think that their electric signature on a petition has no real weight. Does it?

Absolutely it does. The letter itself was signed by leaders from across the industries, many from well-recognized brands.

The outdoor industry and outdoor recreation community – members, merchants, consumers and many, many others came out in the millions against this administration’s threats against national monuments. Collectively, we produced these overwhelming numbers. This made a difference in that, to date, no monuments will be completely eliminated. It’s a small win, but a win nonetheless.

The total comments on Regulations.gov about the monuments getting reduced was the largest with 2.8 million. And 98% were in favor of keeping the monuments. These numbers can’t be ignored.

Zinke wants to jack up national park entrance fees

Q: What feedback have you received so far?

We had off the charts feedback on social media from members, supporters, others with many people asking what can I do to fight back and stand with you? In general though, the outdoor industry is extremely motivated to protect the public lands we all enjoy. This was our largest letter yet so I think that shows that outdoor businesses prioritized fighting to protect the places that are the backbone of the outdoor recreation economy, and they are willing to sign on to continue the drumbeat that the protection of public lands matters to our industry, America’s long legacy of protecting our land, and speaks to the soul of the nation.

Related

utah protest 6

It’s official: Trump slashes Utah national monuments

“There are no words. It’s heartbreaking,” Ace Kvale, outdoor photographer, told SNEWS as he was leaving the Salt Lake City protest against President Trump’s controversial announcement to downsize both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. With much resistance but little ...read more

Bears Ears

Patagonia: Passionately pursuing land conservation or just trying to sell jackets?

President Trump’s proclamation to cut two national monuments in southeastern Utah was the match that lit a public lands fire and Patagonia’s reaction has been nothing but gasoline. With the swipe of the president’s pen, the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National ...read more

Bears Ears Monument

Trump moves forward with a plan to shrink two national monuments

President Trump plans to move forward with a plan that will shrink the size of two national monuments in Utah, according to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. The Senator said Trump informed him Friday via phone that he would be approve Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to ...read more

Yellowstone

Zinke announces creation of Made in America Recreation Advisory Committee

Secretary Ryan Zinke announced on Tuesday the establishment of the “Made in America” Recreation Advisory Committee. The Committee will advise the Secretary of the Interior on partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure ...read more

Merrell Magic

Industry Buzz: A ski shop's final week, legislation to watch, Trump's year-long attack on public lands, #MerrellMagic, and more.

TGIF. We can't wait to get outside this weekend. You? Before calling it a day, catch up on the latest news. Here are today's must-read headlines: Have a hot news blurb for Industry Buzz? Or a burning story idea for another one of our columns? We've created a new form where you ...read more

Trump's nomination for NPS superintendent; david vela

Trump made a good choice for the NPS

Should Congress approve President Donald Trump's nomination, Raymond David Vela would be the first Latino superintendent of the National Park Service. Vela, a 28-year career veteran of the NPS, is the current chief of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park and the John D. ...read more

Rafting on the Rogue Wild and Scenic River in Oregon

Most guides not directly affected by minimum wage exemption

If Fitpacking Owner Steve Silberberg paid his guides a set rate for every hour they spent in the backcountry while leading multi-day trips through national parks and forests, he wouldn't have enough money leftover to pay for anything else. President Donald Trump on May 25 ...read more

Trump moves forward with DAPL, Keystone XL pipelines.

Best of 2017: Top political stories

What a year in politics! This year in particular, politics and the outdoor industry were so intertwined, the SNEWS team definitely covered our share of controversial stories. Here are the top five: Utah asks Trump to rescind on Bears Ears NM, Patagonia pulls out of Outdoor ...read more

Outdoor Industry Association monuments

Show Zinke you mean business

Hundreds of outdoor industry businesses have banded together to show that our public lands, and particularly the monuments in danger, are vital to the recreation economy. On Aug. 24, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will make his official recommendations to President Donald Trump ...read more