Peak Design joined Patagonia and a number of other outdoor focused brands in boycotting Outdoor Retailer in Utah. On February 8th, the company that helps creative and adventurous people pursue their passions announced on their website that they were skipping the most significant event in the outdoor industry that takes in Salt Lake City every other year in the name of protecting a large part of Utah’s land, Bears Ears. The 1.35 million acres of public land gets its name from the twin sandstone mesas that rise from it, resembling ears protruding from a bear’s head.
The state of Utah has been trying to protect this land for three years without success due to a disagreeable congress. However, right before President Obama left office, he sneakily found a way to bring this issue to a close by signing an executive order that uses the Antiquities Act as reason for setting aside the land as a national monument, ensuring its protection against the expansion of oil and gas drilling, as well as unregulated recreational use.
Now, Utah is retreating on their commitment after state Governor Gary Herbert pushed Donald Trump’s administration to take away the newly allotted protection of the land. Peak Design thinks this could be because of pressure the state is receiving from large oil companies. Nevertheless, they are using what little opportunity they have to not only voice their outrage over the issue, but do something about it by boycotting the Outdoor Retailer in Utah.
It seems as if their boycott worked. It’s been reported that “Outdoor Retailer’s event organizers, Outdoor Industry Association, made their own announcement on February 6th not to renew their contract ending summer 2018.” However, “Show director Marissa Nicholson said the decision is based on the city’s inability to accommodate the show’s growing numbers, as well as the public land issues occurring in the state.” Now it’s up to the new President to decide if the public outrage is enough to stop Governor Herbert’s plea to overturn the executive order that Obama made last December.
Can’t get enough of Utah’s natural beauty? Check out our articles featuring filmmakers 500-mile slackline walk across the Utah desert and photos of a 1,129 mile road trip through Utah and Arizona.