Colorado Lands Outdoor Retailer After Utah Actively Undermines Its Public Lands
By Scott Miller
Outdoor Retailer has a new home for its three annual trade shows: Colorado, a state that really gets the value of our wild lands.
The Outdoor Industry Association announced in February that it was pulling its trade shows out of Utah, where they'd been located for 20 years, because the state's elected officials were undermining the future of America's public lands. The hosts decided they would not reward Utah with thousands of visitors and an economic impact of up to $110 million a year after the state actively undermined Utah's public lands and recreation economy that the outdoor industry relies on.
Major businesses that take part in the shows, including Patagonia and Black Diamond, did not want to continue to pour money into a state that did not see the value of protecting its stunning conservation and recreation areas. It's not surprising that Outdoor Retailer had become disillusioned with the efforts of Utah officials. Both state and national level politicians, including Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Rob Bishop have aggressively attacked public lands in the state—especially the Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.
The Outdoor Industry Loves Utah ... But Does Utah Love the Outdoor Industry? https://t.co/JLpDXkleeW— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@Robert F. Kennedy Jr)1484164997.0
Utah's leadership has pressed President Trump to reverse the national monument designation, favoring opening lands for industrialization like mining instead. They have also been leading the charge for the reversal of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah and others across the country.
In response, the Trump administration has included Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in its review of 27 national monuments designated by the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. The monument that may be facing the biggest threat is Utah's Bears Ears. In an unprecedented move, Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke already has announced he intends to recommend revoking protections for large portions of the monument.
After setting out to find a new location in a state that supports protecting public lands, Outdoor Retailer didn't have to look far. In clear contrast to Utah, leaders in neighboring Colorado value and stand up for their public lands.
The Colorado delegation, including Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, has defended Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, which is now under review by Trump. So has Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Colorado also has advocated for keeping the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears intact, too, recognizing that the national public lands there contain fragile and irreplaceable resources that are important to all Americans.
Utah could learn a thing or two from Colorado.
For one, Colorado recognizes the economic value of conservation. The state has a massive outdoor recreation economy, with $28 billion in consumer spending in the industry annually. Outdoor Retailer will bring the money and attention it draws to Colorado instead, starting with its winter show in January 2018.
But more than that, leadership here recognizes the intrinsic value of public lands for the identity of the state.
"If you look at what this means, that's a huge benefit, but that's not what deserves to be mentioned," said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper when the deal was announced Thursday. "State parks, wildlife areas. All this stuff comes as an accumulative attraction. It is part of the defining characteristic of Colorado."
"What we're saying today is that we're in this for the long term. We're going to continue to try and talk about the importance of outdoor recreation in Colorado. Henry David Thoreau once said all good things are wild and free. We believe that in Colorado," Hickenlooper said.
Outdoor Industry Association Executive Director Amy Roberts was spot on when she said that "Colorado's elected officials have shown significant leadership in promoting policies that ensure the outdoor recreation economy continues to thrive."
Colorado is home to more than 23 million acres of public lands. These lands are highly valued, especially by the 71 percent of Coloradans who participate in outdoor recreation each year, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.
These public lands, which include four national parks, eight national monuments and millions of acres of high quality Forest Service and BLM lands, also bring in millions of tourists every year. People from around the world spend money throughout Colorado in order to travel to, stay in and experience our incredible scenery. Whether that includes a snow-capped 14er, a meandering mountain trout stream, or an ancient cliff dwelling in our high desert lands, the quality of these outstanding outdoor experiences is not accidental. Preserving our best wild places takes forethought and determination--as well as resistance to the urge to sell our lands out to a quick buck.
This major move by businesses shows that despite the Trump administration's threat to our wild, if we stand together, we can send a strong message like the one these outdoor retailers have sent to politicians in Utah.
It's reassuring to see the outdoor industry stand its ground by moving its multi-million dollar shows to Colorado. You, too, can take a stand to protect our public lands. Until July 10, you can speak out in support of the national monuments that are under attack.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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