Cedar Mesa Valley of the Gods in Bears Ear National Monument
Cedar Mesa Valley of the Gods in Bears Ear National Monument (photo: BLM).

Patagonia, Black Diamond slam Utah leadership on public lands, OR will consider moving shows

Influential companies urge outdoor industry to leverage its economic power to put a stop to public lands assault

Two times each year, for around the last two decades, the outdoor industry holds its biggest extravaganza in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Outdoor Retailer show, better known as "OR", is where the biggest brands in the business of the outdoors show off all their latest and greatest. Not only do these shows repeatedly place Utah's outdoor industry in spotlight, they reportedly bring over $50 million in direct spending to the state each year. OR is big business for Utah.

fly fishing idaho
Photo: Kris Millgate

Power to the public

A year spent on public lands

I saw Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in January 2016. Well, sort of saw it. The fog was as thick as smoke trapped in a burning trailer house the morning I arrived at the refuge. Camera in hand, confused literally and figuratively, I couldn’t get a handle on my surroundings or the situation. The fog was hours from blowing away. The problem was months from going away.

Private trout stream connecticut
Photo: Steve Zakur

Wait, do I have to share too?

When private-ish water goes public

There's this small brook, a couple of towns over, that I fish from time to time. It's little known except to a small cadre of small stream anglers. The fishing cannot be described as good, but that's not what turns on people who crawl along thin blue lines. Wild fish. Tricky casting. Ample opportunity to lay out f-bombs when you tangle in a pile of twigs for the third time in consecutive casts. That’s a full day for a small stream angler. Sometimes I go down to this brook with the sole intent of smoking a cigar and sipping single malt. Losing a fly to a tree is just a bonus.

Red Rock Canyon nevada
Photo: Chris Bamber

As the dust settles

Post-election, Congress wants to give away American lands

In the wake of the November elections, the eyes of the nation are on the incoming administration. How will it take shape? Which campaign promises will become reality and which will not? With many questions unanswered even during the campaign, anglers specifically are wondering whether the new administration will adopt policies that reflect or threaten our sporting heritage. But while focus is turned to the President-elect, members of Congress beholden to special interests are wasting no time in promoting legislation that would exploit and seize U.S. public lands and waters.

malheur wildlife refuge takeover
Mark Heckert, a sportsman from Washington, traveled to Oregon during the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge takeover in January to show his opposition to the movement (photo: Kris Millgate).

'Teddy's turning in his grave'

Malheur acquittal handed down on Roosevelt's birthday

Garrett Vene Klasen has Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday in his calendar. He receives annual alerts for Teddy’s special day just like he does for his daughter’s birthday.

“If you’re an outdoors person, Roosevelt should be a central figure in your life,” says Vene Klasen, New Mexico Wildlife Federation executive director. “He created our lifestyle.”

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