Open letter to Yvon Chouinard, Peter Metcalf on Outdoor Retailer boycott - SNEWS

Open letter to Yvon Chouinard, Peter Metcalf on Outdoor Retailer boycott


Shouldn't we be threatening to stay in Utah?

We received this letter today from Jen Taylor, brand manager and creative development director for Mountain Khakis. This is her personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Mountain Khakis brand. We have republished Taylor's letter below in its entirety. Would you like to share your opinion with SNEWS on the boycott or another topic? Email us at

Jen Taylor

Jen Taylor, brand manager and creative development director for Mountain Khakis. // Photo: Courtesy Jen Taylor

An open letter to Yvon Chouinard & Peter Metcalf:

Gentlemen, thank you for lending your voices to raise awareness toward devastating environmental issues and public lands conservation. Your stature within and beyond the ceiling of Outdoor Retailer represent the thousands of us who have built a rewarding life paying the outdoorist’s lifestyle tax and finding our purpose in a landscape of corporations who recognize the growing relevance of our Industry’s products and services.

 Thank you also for composing several op-ed articles through the years—most especially in January of this year—regarding Outdoor Retailer’s current and future ‘state’ in Utah. 

“I say enough is enough. If Governor Herbert doesn’t need us, we can find a more welcoming home.”

-YC (reference)

“It's time for Outdoor Retailer to leave the state in disgust.”

-PM (reference)

With all due respect, I disagree with you both.

Is the Outdoor Industry not composed of anarchists, rebels and non-conformists? Our dirtbag heritage continues to be celebrated by scabbed-over industry founders such as yourselves, and altruistic newcomers alike. This fiery, dogmatic spirit is the foundation of our industry - your industry - that is now recognized by federal balance sheets.

I say, shouldn’t our stance be—instead of threatening to leave the state of Utah—we should bethreatening to stay in the state of Utah?

When the park rangers of Yosemite threatened to kick you out of Camp 4 so many years ago (I can only assume this happened several times), how did you react? Did you revolt and stay, or pack up and go? I’m guessing you rebelled, went off radar and continued bagging first ascents. Never succumbing to authority. Power to the people, stick it to the man.

When I read your threats of Outdoor Retailer abandoning its basecamp in Utah if Gov. Herbert, his politicos and policies don’t start protecting public lands, it feels to me like we’d be rolling over. Bending over. Instead of threatening to pull out, shouldn’t we be threatening to STAY? Shouldn’t we take a stance and kick up so much dust that they threaten to KICK US OUT? That is a real story of having effect. That, to me, has the ring of revolutionary promise.

We should be such a burr in their saddle that the state of Utah makes every effort to ban the Outdoor Retailer trade show from their grounds.

The outdoor industry is needed in Utah. There is no more important state for our brands, manufacturers, buyers, designers, reps, policy makers, media and investors to descend upon every six months; to insert our collective voice squarely in Utah’s ear. Deep, like a Q-tip jamming into the eardrum. Their citizens need us. Their policy makers need us. Most importantly, their voiceless lands need us.

If we were to pull up our proverbial tent stakes and relocate to a state with policies more aligned with ours, wouldn’t that be the easy way out? Wouldn’t we be giving up, turning our back on the people, state and lands that need us most?

I say we hammer our Titanium stakes into the ground with the swift strike of a rebel. 

I say we step outside the walls of the Salt Palace Convention Center and rally with/for/against the community of Salt Lake City. Support the supporters, educate the critics, march on the lawns of the Capitol and knock on the doors of the offices.

Let’s consider it a shame if we continue to merely slide into Utah with our smoke and mirrors booths and sales pitches, our comfy hotel rooms, our entertaining overstuffed meals and our weeklong fist-pump critique of their archaic and devastating policies.

Let us rally for the weeks of Outdoor Retailer! Let us annoy the hell out of the policymakers and become real change makers in the face of an oppressive, threatening government who threatens to sell off and vaporize our beloved access to our beloved public lands.


Jen Taylor

Mountain Khakis | Brand Manager, Director of Creative Development


Drew Simmons

Opinion: The boycott of Outdoor Retailer is complicated

The public lands debate with Utah and Patagonia's decision to boycott Outdoor Retailer is a tricky situation. Criticizing Patagonia on Utah (or anything, actually) is as delicate an act as there is. There’s a lot of love in there, a lifetime of personal connections to respect, more

Lt. Gov Spencer Cox

Yvon Chouinard, Peter Metcalf put pressure on Utah for fighting public lands

Peter Metcalf and Yvon Chouinard call for a boycott over the state’s “all-out assault” on protected public lands. For decades, Utah’s granite mountains have served as a backdrop to one of the outdoor industry’s biggest shows. But as the state fights public lands protection, it more

Peak Design Joins Boycott of Outdoor Retailer in 2017 Over Concern of Bear’s Ear National Monument

San Francisco, CA (Feb, 10 2017) — In response to steps taken by the Utah legislature to rescind the designation of the Bear’s Ear National Monument in Southeastern Utah, Peak Design, maker of essential carry equipment and camera accessories, has decided to boycott the 2017 more

REI CEO Jerry Stritzke

REI CEO Jerry Stritzke says it would be a 'mistake' to not gather at Outdoor Retailer

Stritzke's letter is the latest in a stream of announcements from brands saying whether they'll attend or boycott Outdoor Retailer this summer. REI CEO Jerry Stritzke published a letter Friday on the Co-op Journal, asking the outdoor community to unite in attending Outdoor more

10 takeaways from Outdoor Retailer

The North Face urges the industry to attend Outdoor Retailer

The North Face is the latest brand to announce it will attend Outdoor Retailer this summer, in spite of a growing boycott. The North Face's president, Scott Baxter, wrote a letter to the industry on Friday afternoon, asking industry stakeholders to show support for the Outdoor more

Denver wants Outdoor Retailer

Colorado businesses take out Denver Post ad to attract Outdoor Retailer

Dozens of Colorado-based businesses explain why their state is unparalleled in its commitment to public lands. Colorado has no interest in being shy about its pursuit of Outdoor Retailer. In a full-page advertisement in the Denver Post on Sunday, dozens of Colorado-based gear more

Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association.

OIA's Amy Roberts writes open letter to the outdoor industry

Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, wrote an open letter to the industry this week. OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts is in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with members of Congress from Utah, she wrote in a letter to the outdoor industry more

Bears Ears National Monument

Outdoor Retailer will not be in Utah after summer 2018

After a call with Governor Gary Herbert, Outdoor Retailer announced that it would not include Utah in its request for proposals for new venues for the show. In spite of a growing campaign to persuade Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to work with the outdoor industry on public lands more

Utah State Capitol

Join the march for public lands at Outdoor Retailer

In response to outdoor industry concerns about public lands issues in Utah, The Conservation Alliance, Outdoor Alliance, Outdoor Industry Association, and Outdoor Retailer will hold a march during the trade show. Outdoor Retailer, The Conservation Alliance, Outdoor Industry more