Industry Buzz: Ben Sontaag, Toad&Co, REI, happiness, a stand-out gear shop, dehydrated food surge, and, of course, coronavirus

Nuggets of outdoor industry news you need to know
Publish date:

Will LCWF finally get permanent funding? He used to want to cut it from the budget, but now President Trump is calling for Congress to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses oil and gas revenue to fund conservation projects. [The Hill]

Tragedy in Durango: Local legend, pro mountain biker, Ben Sontaag, was struck and killed in a car accident yesterday.

Polybags suck: So says Plastic Impact Alliance member Toad&Co in this blog post that includes some ingenious ways to use them.

In praise of awesome gear shops: This sort of service and community building happens all over the country at dozens of outdoor shops. Long live outdoor specialty retail! [Adventure Journal]

An open office space witt a large wood conference table in foreground, large floor to ceiling windows, lots of light, and casually dressed workers strolling about.

Aside from lots of open spaces and natural light the new Bellevue campus will include a huge outdoor courtyard for meetings, gear testing, and just chilling.

Sneak peak: REI’s new campus will be pretty sweet. [Fast Company] 

National Parks Foundation gets a new leader: Michelle Lane takes over as vice president for government affairs for the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service.

Happiness, quantified: Do you live in one of the happiest states?

Speaking of happiness: Artist Amber Share has creates some hysterical and pretty national parks posters based on silly one-star reviews. Here's one for Zion, but check her out on Instagram to see all the others for a good chuckle.

Dehydrated food sales soar: Mountain House, AlpineAire, Kind, Thrive Live, Backpacker's Pantry, and Good To-Go are just some of the outdoor food companies that are seeing a massive spike in business as people stockpile shelf-staple supplies amidst coronavirus fears. [Wall Street Journal]

"It will all blow over soon": At press time, only 5 percent of our readers say they're not at all concerned about coronavirus, while 6 percent have already cancelled plans, and the rest express various levels of anxiety. Where do you stand? Weigh in and see real time results.