Why you should be listening to Outdoor Retailer companies, Editorial Board writes

There was a great in house editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune this week.

Four years ago the Outdoor Retailers trade show was moved by its organizers and members, The Conservation Alliance, because of the dismissive attitude of the Utah legislature towards protecting our national monuments and our environment in general. The legislature’s lack of concern for environmental protections cost Utah $40 million-plus in renewed economic impact per year, by loss of the trade show alone. 

The editorial board acknowledges “finally grasping the fact that protecting our state’s natural wonders can be — and, in the long term, must be — totally compatible with boosting our economy would bring us a lot more than just cash. It would not be too much to say that it would help save the world.” Utah is in a unique position to stabilize our economy, improve the health of our residents, and help reduce the nation’s contribution to climate change all at the same time. While many residents, and outsiders recognize this position, our legislature seems to be digging their heels in at the cost of our economy and health. 

Now Utah’s leaders are trying to coax them back, and the sales pitch reflects that they still don’t get it.

“As long as Utah is not willing to realize that it is a public lands state that should put nothing ahead of its commitment to protect and preserve those commonly held spaces, there is no reason why multi-national corporations whose futures depend on access to protected spaces, should want to have anything to do with a state that is overtly hostile to their business plan” the Tribune article writes. 

We understand The Conservation Alliance’s frustration with Utah and urge our legislature to start making moves towards environmental protections that benefit not only the health of Utahns, but our economy and reputation as well. We’re past due for a legislature makeover. 

Read the editorial here.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show for outdoor industry manufacturers and retail buyers, August 3, 2016, at the Salt Palace Convention Center.