Outdoor Industry Enters Fray Over Public Lands (2/1/2019)
Story by RVBusiness
Two years after jumping into a fight with the Trump administration over public lands, the U.S. outdoor industry is turning up the political pressure — though its impact is difficult to measure.
The Associated Press reported that thousands of manufacturers and retailers gathered in Denver starting Wednesday for the annual Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show, and some of the biggest names vowed to keep pushing to preserve public lands.
“We will always — this is really core to who we are,” said Corley Kenna, a spokeswoman for Patagonia, the brashest political fighter among the industry’s major players.
The Outdoor Industry Association and some big retailers, including Patagonia, Columbia Sportswear, REI and The North Face, have campaigned together and on their own to protect public lands.
Some of their forays are unobtrusive get-out-the-vote campaigns, lobbying for national parks funding and email blasts to customers about public lands news.
But Patagonia took the unusual step of endorsing U.S. Senate candidates in November's election. The company publicly accused President Donald Trump of stealing public lands and sued his administration.
The campaigns made headlines and energized the industry, but it's hard to measure the effect on voters and policymakers.
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