Outdoor industry urges federal government to protect Greater Canyonlands area, avoid unbalanced spending cuts

More than 100 outdoor-related businesses have signed onto an Outdoor Industry Association letter to Barack Obama, urging the President of the United States to protect about 1.4 million acres in southern Utah, known as the Greater Canyonlands, by declaring the land a national monument. At the same time, OIA issues its stance on the so-called fiscal cliff.
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More than 100 outdoor-related businesses have signed onto an Outdoor Industry Association letter to Barack Obama, urging the President of the United States to protect about 1.4 million acres in southern Utah, known as the Greater Canyonlands, by declaring the land a national monument.

OIA and, among many others, Black Diamond Equipment CEO Peter Metcalf are leading the initiative that looks to protect the area, especially from “rampant off-road vehicle abuse, proposed uranium, potash and tar sand mining, and oil and gas development.” The federal land is currently under the care of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

“The Greater Canyonlands area is a landscape of plateaus, stunning geologic formations, 10,000 year-old archeological sites, and unmatched natural beauty including iconic Utah landmarks such as Labyrinth Canyon, Indian Creek, White Canyon, Fiddler Butte, Robbers Roost, Lockhart Basin and the Dirty Devil River,” supporters said.

The efforts to increase protection on the land gained additional steam this summer following Utah’s state government positioning that it wanted to take control of 30 million acres of federal land in the state, some of which could be used for potential development and/or privatization. The fight on the issue took center stage at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012, as covered by SNEWS in numerous articles.

Fiscal outdoor cliff

In a separate, but additional plea for the outdoor industry, OIA officials sent another letter to the President Obama and Congress, Nov. 12, urging the federal government to avoid deep funding cuts to federal lands and outdoor programs planned for the so-called fiscal cliff.

“Indiscriminate cuts to the protection and management of our parks, forests, rivers and trails threaten the outdoor experiences that feed an economic sector responsible for 6.1 million American jobs,” said OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer.

Cuts to programs in the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other land and water agencies are set to begin in January 2013, along with cuts to the military budget and entitlement programs coupled with increased taxes from the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.

OIA calls for a balanced approach of spending cuts and revenue increases to the meet the challenge of the fiscal cliff.

See copies of both letters below:

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President, We are writing to encourage you to protect Greater Canyonlands – the magnificent 1.4 million-acre region of publicly-owned wildlands surrounding Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah – by proclaiming it a national monument. Greater Canyonlands is without question a world class landscape deserving of the highest levels of protection. It is a place of unparalleled beauty, a geologic wonderland and a treasure trove of ancient cultural and archeological artifacts. Greater Canyonlands also offers superlative recreational opportunities that draw people from around the globe. Many of us know and love the Greater Canyonlands area firsthand, and would like to see the area preserved because it is a premier part of our nation’s natural heritage. But as people who make their living in the outdoor industry, we also want to stress that preserving landscapes like Greater Canyonlands makes good economic sense. Wildlands are the foundational infrastructure for our industry. A study recently released by the Outdoor Industry Association notes that outdoor recreation is “an overlooked economic giant,” generating $646 billion in national sales and services in 2011 and supporting 6.1 million jobs, powering the economy in a manner comparable to the financial services and insurance industries or outpatient health care. As highlighted by the Western Governors Association, in western states alone outdoor recreation spending equaled almost $256 billion (nearly 40% of the national total) and supported 2.3 million jobs. The future of our outdoor recreation economy depends on protecting iconic landscapes – such as Greater Canyonlands – where people go to recreate. And monument proclamation is an important and effective way to provide the protection that is needed. We also turn to you for action because unfortunately, Greater Canyonlands is endangered. Federal land use plans inappropriately open scenic and undeveloped land to drilling and mining and fail to address exploding off-road vehicle use that is damaging riparian areas, cultural sites, soils and solitude. Now, the state of Utah is demanding that the federal government turn over 30 million acres of federal land for potential development and/or privatization and is asserting the right to expand and pave 40,000 miles of dirt routes and trails that crisscross Utah’s federally-owned wildlands. Both actions would result in the despoiling of Greater Canyonlands. We hope you will act to protect Greater Canyonlands. Thank you for your vision and leadership.
Outdoor Industry Association

Boulder, CO

Frank Hugelmeyer

President and CEO Black Diamond Equipment

Salt Lake City, UT

Peter Metcalf

CEO and Lead Founder Backcountry.com

Park City, UT

Jill Layfield

CEO Eastern Mountain Sports

Peterborough, NH

Will Manzer

CEO Petzl

Clearfield, UT

Roody Rasmussen

Senior Vice President Western Spirit Cycling

Moab, UT

Ashley Korenblat

CEO Patagonia

Ventura, CA

Casey Sheahan

President PROBAR LLC

Salt Lake City, UT

Jules Lambert

President Gregory Mountain Products

Salt Lake City, UT

Billy Kulczycki

President Mountain Hardwear

Richmond, CA

Topher Gaylord

President Canyon Voyages Adventure Company

Moab, UT

Don and Denise Oblak

Owners Rim Tours

Moab, UT

Kirstin Peterson

Owner Teva

Goleta, CA

Joel Heath

President Moki Mac

Green River, UT

Bob Quist

Owner Moab Cliffs and Canyons

Moab, UT

Brett Sutteer

Owner Jansport

Morland, KS

Skip Yowell

Co-Founder Lost River Clothing Company

Moab, UT

Dave Knowles

President Skinny Tire Events -- Road Cycling in Moab

Moab, UT

Beth Logan

Owner Red Wing Shoes

Red Wing, MN

Bill Sweasy

Chairman/CEO Canyonlands Field Institute

Moab, UT

Karla VanderZanden

Director Miguel’s Baja Grill

Moab, UT

Dave Bodner

Owner Camelbak

Petaluma, CA

Sally McCoy

President and CEO Magpie Adventures

Moab, UT

Maggie Wilson

Owner Ekletica Cafe

Moab, UT

Julie Fox

Owner Prana

Carlsbad, CA

Theodosakis Beaver, Founder

Scott Kerslake, CEO Moab Destination Management

Moab, UT

Fiona Raison

President Moab Coffee Roasters

Moab, UT

Jana Wilson

Owner Osprey Packs

Mill Valley, CA

Michael Pfotenhauer

Owner and Founder Horny Toad Activewear

Santa Barbara, CA

Kate Larramendy

Design Director With Gaia Design

Moab, UT

Kalen Jones

Owner Marmot Mountain, LLC

Rohnert Park, CA

Mark Martin

President The North Face

San Leandro, CA

Ann Krcik

Director Outdoor Participation Nichols Expeditions

Moab, UT

Chuck and Judy Nichols

Owners American Recreation Products

Boulder, CO

Brett Jordan

CEO Nikwax Waterproofing

Seattle, WA

Chas Fisher

President White Horse Residential Homes

Moab, UT

Mark Griffith

Managing Partner Bergans USA, LLC

Longmont, CO

Patry Loomis

President The Conservation Alliance

Bend, OR

John Sterling

Executive Director Desert Bistro

Moab, UT

Karl and Michelle Kelley

Owners Aspen Skiing Company

Aspen, CO

Mike Kaplan

President/CEO Backbone Media LLC

Carbondale, CO

Nate Simmons

Partner and Founder High and Wild

Castle Valley, UT

Jay Smith

Owner Adventure Bound River Expeditions

Grand Junction, CO

Tom Kleinschnitz

President Ute Mountaineer

Aspen, CO

Bob and Ruth Wade

Owners Far Out Expeditions

Bluff, UT

Vaughn Hadenfeldt

Owner/Guide Loki Outerwear

Grand Junction, CO

Seth Anderson

Co-Owner Whitewater West

Grand Junction, CO

Pete and Monica Atkinson

Owners Bryce Valley KOA

Kampground

Cannonville, UT

John Holland

Owner 4 Corners Riversports

Durango, CO

Andy Corra

President Pine Needle Mountaineering

Durango, CO

Jeremy Dakan

Owner Imlay Canyon Gear

Mt. Carmel Junction, UT

Nolan Jones

President Mountain Waters Rafting and Adventure Co.

Durango, CO

James Wilkes & Dan Bechtel

Owners Deer Hill Expeditions

Mancos, CO

Douglas and Beverly Capelin

Owners and Founders Red Desert Adventures

Springdale, UT

Eric Draper

Owner Kling Mountain Guides

Durango, CO

Josh Kling

Owner Open Sky Wilderness Therapy

Durango, CO

Aaron Fernandes

CEO Wasatch Touring

Salt Lake City, UT

Charlie and Dwight Butler

Owners and Founders Verde PR and Consulting

Durango, CO

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden

CEO and Founder Venture Snowboards

Silverton, CO

Klemens and Lisa Branner

Owners The Family Outing

Murray, UT

Richard Luke

Owner New Belgium Brewing

Ft. Collins, CO

Jenn Vervier

Director, Strategic Development and Sustainability Neptune Mountaineering

Boulder, CO

Gary Neptune

Owner and Founder International Mountain Equipment

Salt Lake City, UT

Scott Carson

Owner La Sportiva

Boulder, CO

Jonathan Lantz

President Scarpa

Boulder, CO

Kim Miller

CEO Trio Restaurant Group

Salt Lake City, UT

Mikel Trapp

Owner GTHI

Boulder, CO

Malcolm Daly

Founder The Access Fund

Boulder, CO

Brady Robinson

Executive Director SOAR Communications

Salt Lake City, UT

Chip Smith

President Stohlquist WaterWare

Alamosa, CO

Jim Stolhquist

President Outside Adventure Film School

Boulder, CO

Michael Brown

Founder Outdoor Utah Adventure Guide

Salt Lake City, UT

Red Oelerich

Editor-in-Chief Veterans Expeditions

Boulder, CO

Nick Watson

Army Ranger Fishpond Inc.

Denver, CO

John Land Le Coq

CEO and Founder Excalibur Distribution/

DMM Inc.

Sandy, UT

Steve Petro

CEO American Alpine Club

Golden, CO

Phil Powers

Executive Director Stonewear Designs

Louisville, CO

Kitty Bradley

President SNOCRU

Sundance, UT

Ed Lewis

Founder NRS

Moscow, Idaho

Bill Parks

Founder Chalk Bag Specialist

Pocatello, ID

San Krieg

Owner Quality Bicycle Products

Ogden, UT

Steve Flagg

President Asana Climbing

Boise, ID

Jamey Sproul

Founder Wild Iris Mountain Sports

Lander, WY

Jennifer Barrett

Owner Alpine Sports

Ogden, UT

Peggie Chambers Ambrey

Owner Oceanmedix.com, LLC

Wilson, WY

Dennis Emory

Co-Founder The Base Camp

Billings, MT

Scott Brown

Owner Thompson Manufacturing Inc.

Clearfield, UT

Rock Thompson

President Outdoor Research

Seattle, WA

Dan Nordstrom

President International Mountain Guides

Ashford, WA

Phil Ershler Logan Outdoor Products/Camp Chef

Logan, UT

Ty Measom

President Far Bank Enterprises

Bainbridge Island, WA

Travis Campbell

CEO Mountain Gear

Spokane Valley, WA

Paul Fish

President Ultralight Adventure Equipment

Logan, UT

Chris McMaster

Owner Peak Sports

Corvalis, OR

Jeff Katz

Owner Montrail

Richmond, CA

Topher Gaylord

President Treasure Mountain Inn

Park City, UT

Andy Beerman

Owner Mountain Tools

Carmel, CA

Larry Arthur

CEO and Lead Founder Mammoth Mountaineering Supply

Mammoth Lakes, CA

Dave Talsky

President Christoph & Company

Park City, UT

Lesley Christoph

President Wilson’s Eastside Sports

Bishop, CA

James Wilson

Owner Desert Rock Sports

Las Vegas, NV

Steve Mallory

Owner Grassroots Outdoor Alliance

Park City, UT

Roanne Miller

President Midwest Mountaineering

Minneapolis, MN

Rod Johnson

Owner and Founder River Sports Outfitters

Knoxville, TN

Laura Jones

General Manager Burton Snowboards

Burlington, VT

Jake Burton Carpenter

Donna Carpenter

Owners Jetboil, Incorporated

Manchester, NH

Perry Dowst

President and CEO Mammut Sports Group

Shelbourne, VT

Bill Supple

CEO Penguin Brands

Greater Boston Area, MA

Donna Williams

SR Sales Manager River Runner Outdoor Center

Columbia, SC

Guy Jones

President Pack and Paddle

Lafayette, LA

Rebecca Williams

Owner Pack Rat Outdoor Center

Fayettville, AR

Carolyn Crook

Owner Rabbit Mountain

Miami, FL

Edward Gerety

President Equip

Derbyshire, UK

Matt Gowar

CEO Exped

Zurich, Switzerland

Heidi Brun

CEO ------------------------------------------
November 12, 2012 President Barack Obama

The White House

Washington, DC 20500 The Honorable Harry Reid

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable John Boehner

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515 Dear President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker Boehner: We write to express deep concern about the threat to funding for critical public lands and waters posed by the sequester provisions of the 2011 Budget Control Act. Because of direct links between the health of the national economy and the treasures that are our parks, forests, blueways, wildlife refuges, recreational trails and similar recreation assets, we ask that you forge a common sense compromise that balances federal spending cuts with additional revenue measures. Adequate funding for the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Transportation, is critical to support public access and enjoyment of the cherished public lands and waters and recreation programs under their stewardship. All the people who enjoy our public lands stand to lose in the event the sequester triggers cuts to all federal budget accounts by more than eight percent in January 2013. Our public lands and waters are deeply popular with American families nationwide. These lands and waters represent a foundational infrastructure for recreation just as important as highways are to the transportation industry or fiber optic lines are to the telecommunications industry. A national outdoor recreation system of diverse, accessible, affordable places for every American to get outdoors, enjoy healthy lifestyles and play is crucial to the health of the American people and our outdoor economy. Rather than compounding our deficit problems, our national outdoor recreation system produces exceptional economic value and jobs in communities across the country. Our public lands and waters drive a recreational economy that generates $646 billion in direct consumer spending, supports more than 6 million sustainable American jobs, and generates more than $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. At the local level, resources invested in recreational trail infrastructure, river access and other open space have an impressive and sustainable return for local economies, especially those in rural areas. Outdoor recreation and the outdoor industry are a core economic sector in America, driven by innovation and technology. Sustainable, American jobs exist across the value chain—suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, sales representatives. Moreover, outdoor recreation is an industry that America dominates worldwide. The world looks to America as the leader in the protection of our public lands and waters and looks to American brands for outdoor products, gear, apparel and footwear. A healthy and diverse outdoor recreation economy promotes economic activity and jobs in every community—large & small, urban & rural—across America. Outdoor recreation and the places that Americans get outside— parks, trails, rivers and open space—are critical economic drivers and essential to a high quality of life. Cutting funding that supports those quality places directly and adversely impacts not just the outdoor industry, but a diversity of other industries and myriad associated businesses that chose their location, in large part, on accessible, healthy public lands and outdoor spaces to be enjoyed by their workforce. Please prevent cuts to our public lands, and find a balanced solution to the nation’s deficit problem by combining revenue measures with spending cuts. Respectfully, Frank Hugelmeyer

President & CEO

Outdoor Industry Association

Adam Cramer

Policy Architect

Outdoor Alliance

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