Story 1: Big brands divided over Outdoor Retailer tradeshow

In response to the state of Utah’s initiative to rescind the designation of Bears Ears National Monument, a number of high-profile brands within the outdoor industry have decided to boycott the summer Outdoor Retailer (OR) tradeshow held in July in Salt Lake City. OR’s parent company, Emerald Expositions, currently has a contract with the Salt Lake City Convention and Visitors Bureau for bi-annual tradeshows through 2018.

After Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution on February 3rd urging President Trump to roll back the Bears Ears designation, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario responded by issuing a statement, noting that because of the Utah legislature’s “blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah.” Since then, brands such as Arc’teryx, Polartec, Peak Design, Metolius, and others have followed suit.

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If you are like me and love playing in Utah on protected public land, you celebrated this winter when Obama declared Bears Ears a National Monument. •. . While the ink is still drying on this exciting success, Utah government officials have moved to rescind and open this land to development and take it away from the people. Their resolution now sits on Trumps desk. • I think it's a travesty. For those who agree, help yourself to printing this art to let Congressman Chaffetz know how you feel. . There is a version with HIS name, and Governor Herbert version in the linked folder in my profile. Help yourself. I'm here in Utah right now ready to rally. This fight isn't over. Learn more about the TRIBAL-LED effort to protect this land at #standwithbearsears

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These companies, which rely heavily upon public lands to support the $646 billion outdoor industry, view Utah’s anti-public lands initiatives as a sign of disrespect to the industry and the citizens who make it up. But their show of protest may not be the best way to influence the change they seek, others claim.

The North Face, REI, and other brands have chosen to honor their commitments to attending OR and, in doing so, supporting the Outdoor Industry Alliance–the “leading trade association and voice of the outdoor recreation industry,” according to the OIA website. The OIA is meeting with Governor Herbert today in an effort to stop his support of rescinding Bears Ears. Even so, the OIA is calling for all major brands to participate in upcoming OR tradeshows in order to demonstrate the industry’s unity–and to protest the state of Utah from within.

In a letter written to the companies of the outdoor industry, the OIA points out that “boycotting [OR] could have a significant negative impact on small and midsize brands, specialty retailers and nonprofits who depend on the business and inspiration that happens at the show.”

Scott Baxter, president of The North Face, echoes the sentiment of the OIA. “Leaving OR would mean throwing hurdles in the way of important work the NGOs and non-profits are doing for the very causes we’re fighting for,” he states in a letter to industry stakeholders.

What seems to be clear is that almost every player in the outdoor industry wishes to fight the actions taken by Utah politicians against public lands. At this point in time, however, they disagree on the best way to do so.

Additional resources:

Story 2: Woods and Condie win 24th annual Hueco Rock Rodeo

The Hueco Rock Rodeo, one of the country’s largest and most celebrated outdoor climbing competitions, went down without a hitch this past weekend. The event, held annually at Hueco Tanks State Historic Park near El Paso, Texas, often hosts some of the strongest names in bouldering. This year was no exception.

Kyra Condie took 1st place for the women’s Open category, barely edging Molly Rennie by a mere 10 points. Juliet Hammer rounded out the podium in 3rd.

Rodeo veteran and past winner Daniel Woods emerged victorious for the men, followed closely by New Mexican newcomers Keenan Takahashi and Ben Hanna.

Check out footage from last year’s Hueco Rock Rodeo below:

Story 3: USA Bouldering National Championships

The 2016-2017 USA Bouldering competition season has officially wrapped up. Alex Puccio and Nathaniel Coleman won the Open event on February 4th, while Margo Hayes and Kai Lightner (who both also competed in the Open category) took 1st at the Youth event one week later. Both events were held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

See the full results for the Open and Youth categories on the USA Climbing website. Make sure to check out the complete replay of the Open Finals, streamed live by Louder Than Eleven, below:

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