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
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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.


Cloudy, snowy mountaintops with the sun shining through fog

Industry Buzz: Coronavirus, Livestrong, tragedy at Vail

Coronavirus: The worrisome virus has migrated to a ski chalet in Haute-Savoie, France, after skiers there were exposed to a man who recently visited Singapore. [Gear Junkie] Moving on: Livestrong has undertaken a top-to-bottom rebrand, ditching the iconic yellow wristbands of more


Industry Buzz: Patagonia and REI reopen, national park safety, Thin Air show, coronavirus liability

Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web Patagonia exercises caution: The brand was one of the first to close its stores. After losing half its North American sales, leadership is considering an extremely cautious approach to reopening. [The New York Times] REI more

A misty mountain with pine trees and a lake in front

Industry Buzz: Toad&Co, Modell's bankruptcy, Conrad Anker on positivity, TGR women, The Utah Roadmap

Toad&Co puts money where its mouth is: Long respected for its commitment to independent retailers, Toad&Co has announced a first-of-its-kind revenue sharing program to help brick and mortar retailers through the economic upheaval of the coronavirus outbreak. Stay calm and more

A wooded trail with green trees

Industry Buzz: Coronavirus news, Appalachian Trail, Colin O’Brady, Montane

Your guide to all coronavirus news: SNEWS has launched a page for ongoing coverage of the outbreak, updated daily. Check back for continual updates, news, recommendations, quotes from industry leaders, and more. Could Everest close? As concern over the coronavirus mounts, there's more

Snowy mountains in front of a yellow sunset with bare trees in the foreground.

Industry Buzz: SOAR Act, new REI, crisis in Bangladesh, national park tragedy, Phil Powers, Columbia, OR Online education sessions

Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web SOAR Act advances: A new bill that would simplify permitting for outdoor recreation on public lands has passed the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources and moved to the floor of the House of Representatives. [America more

Blue mountains in the haze

Industry Buzz: CEO pay cut, national park infections, ski goggles as PPE, Jeremy Jones, a tragic coronavirus death

Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web A CEO sacrifice: Columbia’s CEO, Tim Boyle, has slashed his annual pay to $10K to keep paychecks flowing to retail employees. [The Oregonian] Close the parks: The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks has sent a more

Female moose standing in a clearing by a river with forest around.

Industry Buzz: Support outdoor journalism, how Artz runs REI, Grassroots Connect's new show dates, Access Fund Summit Celebration, new leadership at Burton

Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web Here’s an idea: Why not use all the unspent trade show dollars from 2020/21 to support journalism in the outdoor industry? [Pale Morning Media] How Artz runs REI: A look at how the chief executive of REI has handled changes more

A large lake with pine trees and an island in the center.

Industry Buzz: Diversity in camping, climbing in China, Crater Lake lawbreakers, outdoor gear shortage, Colorado gear shop closes, climbing chalk vs. coronavirus

Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web How to build diversity in camping: Start by taking a hard look at access (or lack thereof) to gear. [Los Angeles Times] Climbing in China: American climber Mike Dobie has been trying to promote his sport in China for years. more

A valley of mountains with thick yellow smoke and bare pine trees in the foreground.

Industry Buzz: REI launches new bike line, climbers using crags to protest, how oil companies lie about recycling, Mitsu Iwasaki, Burton's anti-racism

Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web REI bets on itself: The retailer is expanding its house-branded line to include bikes and potentially footwear. [StoreBrands] Using crags as demonstration tools: Do climbers have a right to hang Pride and Black Lives Matter more