Fly Life Magazine

Public Lands: Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s open letter to Utah

Forward by www.dirtbagdarling.com

It’s no secret our public lands and previously enacted conservation efforts are being threatened by a handful of Congresspeople, Governors, and Attorney Generals. That’s why Chouinard is urging Utah’s Governor Herbert to provide the leadership needed to protect the state’s natural places and public lands. And, if he doesn’t? Patagonia is taking its business elsewhere. Always a thought-and-action leader in the outdoor industry, Patagonia will hopefully inspire other outdoor brands to use their voices to put real demand on our lawmakers. It’s up to all of us to suit up and demand action. That’s why we’re sharing Chouinard’s open letter to Governor Herbert here.

By Yvon Chouinard

Every year, millions of people visit public lands in Utah to climb, hike, ski, hunt and a heck of a lot more. I’ve skied, climbed and fished the wild streams of wild Utah for years. The American people own these lands – and Utah reaps the rewards. Every year, outdoor recreation in Utah drives $12 million in consumer spending and supports 122,000 jobs across the state. Sure, we use these lands for energy and grazing and other things too. But access to the outdoors is the reason why so many of my friends consider Utah the ultimate place to live.

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It’s also why the outdoor industry loves Utah. Every January and August, Patagonia and hundreds of other companies spend gobs of money to show our latest products at the Outdoor Retailer show. The whole thing is a cash cow for Salt Lake City. You’d think politicians in Utah would bend over backwards to make us feel welcome. But instead Gov. Gary Herbert and his buddies have spent years denigrating our public lands, the backbone of our business, and trying to sell them off to the highest bidder. He’s created a hostile environment that puts our industry at risk.

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