Outdoor Cos. vs. Utah Governor
Ultimatum: Support environment or lose revenue-driving trade show
On Wednesday, the Outdoor Industry Association gave Utah governor Gary Herbert (R) an ultimatum—change course on environmental issues or lose the Outdoor Retailer show, a bi-annual event in Salt Lake City that brings more than $40 million annually to Utah’s economy. The statement comes in the midst of a larger debate surrounding the outdoor industry’s role in conservation, though this demand could signal a unification of the industry’s stance.
“We have not and will not sit silently on threats to the nation’s recreation infrastructure,” association president and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer said in a statement, following a private board meeting with Herbert. The group asked Herbert to “pursue public land policies that support the outdoor industry,” and requested a favorable sign from the governor within 30 days.
The ultimatum comes in response to a legislative bill signed in March that demands that the federal government surrender Utah public lands by 2014, as well as the state’s push to open dirt trails across the state to motor vehicles.