Conservation Coalition Strong when Hunters & Outdoor Industry Joins in: Recent events again show that the wildlife conservation coalition can be powerful when hunters, anglers, and the outdoor industry cooperate with it to fight for common political goals. This power is evidenced by the fact that Utah’s conservative U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz first proposed a bill to sell hundreds of thousands acres of Federal lands in Wyoming but later withdrew it due to pressure from hunters and sports people—Chaffetz said “I’m a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands.” This story is available on Wyofile at http://www.wyofile.com/utahs-chaffetz-vows-withdraw-bill-sell-public-lands/
Similarly, the outdoor recreation industry group is seeking to counter the attempt by Utah politicians to reverse the designation of Bears Ears area as a national monument. Indeed, they are threatening to take the Outdoor Retailer trade show out of Salt Lake City where it has been held twice a year and which brings millions to the State. According to an article in the High Country News by Tay Wiles at http://www.hcn.org/articles/utahs-outdoor-rec-industry-defends-public-lands?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email more than 100 “outdoor gear” company leaders agreed to look elsewhere if the state continued to sell off public lands which, the outdoor industry relies on for access to recreation. The article quotes one outdoor industry leader, Peter Metcalf, as stating that the public lands issue “high profie binary issue.” This illustrates why the conservation coalition is so strong when outdoor recreation including hunting is included—conservative politicians who tend to ignore traditional conservation organizations pay attention to this industry.
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