idaho river in winter
Photo: Kris Millgate

Who's watching my water?

A look at the local law on federal lands concept

I’m cleaning another pile of fresh snow off the cover on my drift boat. It’s a chore I do almost daily this winter, but I’m not complaining. All this white translates into more water this summer.

My home waters are Idaho’s South Fork of the Snake River, which is buried in snow, and the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, which is farther north and buried in even more snow.

indian creek, bears ears national monument
Looking out on Indian Creek in the Bears Ears National Monument (photo: BLM).

As Patagonia exits in protest, Outdoor Retailer hints at move

Utah leaderships' anti-public lands stance may cost state $50 million annually

Last month, while the twice-annual Outdoor Retailer show was underway in Salt Lake City, two of the outdoor industry's biggest brands—Patagonia and Black Diamond—issued strongly worded letters urging the show to cut its 20-year long ties with the state unless Utah's leadership altered its draconian stance on public lands including the newly minted Bears Ears Monument.

BLM lands montana

The ship be sinkin', grab a bucket

Sportsmen can make a huge difference when we stand together and speak with one voice

Back when I was guiding fly fishermen on the Henry’s Fork, I saw a sight I may never forget. We came floating around a bend in the river and there, in the distance, was a partially submerged drift boat. It was upright, and sideways to the current, and while the bow and stern were clear of the water, the rest of the boat was below the surface. Even though we were a hundred yards away, it was obvious that the boat was resting on the bottom in relatively shallow water.

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.

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