Hit  ’em where it hurts

 

The article “Bears Ears National Monument is a go” shows how, even with compromise, Utah lawmakers continue to attack this newest national monument using, as President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway would say, “alternative facts” (HCN, 01/23/17).

There is one potentially strong economic benefit behind the monument that wasn’t mentioned in the article. The Outdoor Industry Association holds its Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah, every January and August. Peter Metcalf, founder of Black Diamond Equipment, and Yvon Chouinard, owner of Patagonia, came out strongly in writing against Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, the Utah attorney general, and other Utah lawmakers who are trying to negate the Bears Ears and suspend the Antiquities Act of 1906. Metcalf and Chouinard both support taking the Outdoor Retailer show out of Utah if Utah’s lawmakers keep attacking the public lands. Economically, this would remove several million dollars from Utah, thereby taking away jobs and free publicity, and affecting recreational users and the money they spend. In addition, at least 98 other outdoor companies have signed an open letter in support of keeping federal public lands public, not turning them over to the states. Maybe hitting the Republican lawmakers in Utah with a threat of losing millions of dollars in economic benefits is the only way they will listen to the “facts.”

Jon Wesley Sering
Montrose, Colorado