Sustainable outdoor gear company Patagonia is putting their popularity, and revenue, towards defending conservation in Utah. After Republican governor Gary Herbert urged Donald Trump’s administration to snatch away protection for the newly created national monument Bears Ears, Patagonia announced their boycott of Outdoor Retailer, a show that rakes in millions of dollars for Salt Lake City. Founder Yvon Chouinard wrote in a recent opinion editorial, “If Governor Herbert doesn’t need us, we can find a more welcoming home.”

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

Patagonia, Outdoor Retailer, Yvon Chouinard, Rose Marcario, Donald Trump, Trump, Gary Herbert, public land, public lands, conservation, nature, environment, outdoor, outdoors, outdoor recreation, outdoor industry, recreation, Bears Ears National Monument, Bears Ears, Utah

President Obama created the Bears Ears National Monument in December. But Utah’s governor recently signed a resolution calling on the new administration to yank away protection for Bears Ears, and Patagonia isn’t happy about it. CEO Rose Marcario announced in a February 7 press release Patagonia would withdraw from Outdoor Retailer, and felt confident other retailers and manufacturers would “join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.”

Related: Obama creates two new western national monuments in last minute effort

In his opinion piece, titled “The Outdoor Industry Loves Utah; Does Utah Love the Outdoor Industry?” Chouinard said outdoor recreation supports 122,000 jobs in Utah, and generates $12 billion in consumer spending. He described Outdoor Retailer as a cash cow for Salt Lake City, noting hundreds of companies spend loads of money to show off products at the event, and USA Today said the show brings in $45 million in annual direct spending for Utah. But due to the new overture to rescind public land protection, Chouinard accused Herbert of creating “a hostile environment that puts our industry at risk.”

“The outdoor industry creates three times the amount of jobs than the fossil fuels industry, yet the Governor has spent most of his time in office trying to rip taxpayer-owned lands out from under us and hand them over to drilling and mining companies,” wrote Chouinard. He said Bears Ears contains archaeological treasures from thousands of years of Native American history, and beautiful red rocks cherished by rock climbers worldwide. “Politicians in the state don’t seem to get that the outdoor industry – and their own economy – depend on access to public lands for recreation.”

Via Patagonia

Images via Bureau of Land Management on Flickr (1,2)