(This story was updated on 9/26/2023.)
The Conservation Alliance sent a letter signed by more than 100 companies to the Bureau of Land Management, the Biden Administration, and members of Congress in support of the BLM’s draft Public Lands Rule.
The companies include outdoor industry businesses as well as brewers, sportsmen, bankers, and renewable energy companies.
According to the BLM, the proposed Public Lands Rule would “establish a framework to ensure healthy landscapes, abundant wildlife habitat, clean water, and balanced decision-making on our nation’s public lands.”
It would provide tools for the BLM to protect those areas in the face of increasing drought, wildfires, and climate impacts.
The rule would also help conserve important wildlife habitat and landscapes, better use science and data in decision-making, plan for thoughtful development, and recognize unique cultural and natural resources on public lands, according to the BLM.
“The Conservation Alliance is proud to stand with over 100 businesses who are speaking up about the value of our public lands and outdoor spaces,” said Shoren Brown, VP of Public Affairs at The Conservation Alliance, in a news release. “The time has come for the BLM to focus on managing its 245 million acres for outdoor recreation and conservation benefits, and we believe this rule achieves both of these critically important objectives.”
The Conservation Alliance pointed out that outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output per year.
“Conserving public lands brings critical economic benefits through tourism and local recreation for rural and gateway communities situated near these lands and waters,” the group said in a release. “In addition, outdoor recreation like hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife watching on public lands creates 4.5 million jobs across the United States.”
The letter asks the BLM to put conservation and recreation on a level playing field with other uses, saying, “We support a Public Lands Rule that will ensure that our public lands continue to offer unique recreational opportunities, buffer important habitats against the growing impacts of climate change, and drive economic value and jobs for Americans.”
It goes on to encourage the Department of the Interior and BLM to do all that it can to better conserve and protect public lands and waters.
“Our nation’s largest public lands agency, the Bureau of Land Management, has largely focused on resource extraction and commodity development for nearly 40 years,” said Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, in a release. “As the climate crisis worsens and nature disappears, the U.S. government must prioritize the protection of land and water for future generations and Indigenous communities, and to conserve habitat for endangered species. Otherwise, we won’t have a planet worth living on.”
Eric Artz, president and CEO of REI, added, “The climate crisis has made it plain that we must double down on strategies that can ensure the long-term health and viability of our public lands. REI Co-op, and its 23-million-member community, urges the BLM to swiftly implement a strong Public Lands Rule that will truly help it meet its multi-use mandate and ensure that the 245 million acres it stewards are managed for their recreational, cultural, and conservation value for future generations.”
Executives of outdoor companies who signed the letter include:
Andy Corra, president, 4Corners Riversports
Chris Kostman, president and chief adventure officer, AdventureCORPS, Inc
David Bachrach, president, AK Adventures, Inc
Ronald Yarnell, owner, All About Adventure
Sheilagh Brown, American Alpine Institute
Auden Schendler, senior vice president of sustainability, Aspen Skiing Company
Penn Newhard, co-CEO, Backbone Media
Jessica Powell, advocacy and sustainability manager, Black Diamond
Kathleen McCarthy, founder and president, BOCO Gear
Erik Lambert, CEO, Bonfire Collective
Jackson Tomchek, climate action analyst, Brooks Running
Marne Hayes, director, Business for Montana’s Outdoors
Anna Peterson, founder and president, Conservation Communications
Jake Wheeler, owner, Day Fire Company
Rebecca Cahall, co-founder and CEO, Duct Tape Then Beer
Chase LaCroix, president, Durango Outdoor Exchange
Julia Kintsch, principal and senior ecologist, ECO-resolutions
Dave McCoy, owner, Emerald Water Anglers
Peter Hall, founder, Hala Gear SUP
Elliott Nolan, senior director of sales and marketing, Jack Wolfskin North America
Betsy Harter, associate of sustainability, conservation, and philanthropy, Kahtoola, Inc.
Caroleigh Pierce, nonprofit outreach manager, Klean Kanteen
Jonathan Lantz, president, La Sportiva N.A.
Ryan Mayo, general manager, Last Exit Goods
Misha Charles, founder, Maluti Skingear
Paul Fish, former CEO/president, Mountain Gear
Lisa Lamberson, president, Mountain Sports Flagstaff
Theresa McKenney, director of sustainability, NEMO Equipment
Maile Spung, owner, Neptune Mountaineering
Zoe Houghton, administrator, Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition
Mark Deming, chief marketing officer, Northwest River Supplies
Amy Beck, president, Oboz Footwear
Karl J. Findling, owner and co-founder, Oregon Packworks
Casey Johnson, Oso Supply Co.
Meghan Wolf, environmental campaigns manager, Patagonia
Annie Nyborg, head of environmental and social impact, Peak Design
Jeremy Dakan, owner, Pine Needle Mountaineering
Taldi Harrison, director of community and government affairs, REI Co-op
Kate Ketschek, president, Revolution House Media
Megan Kennedy, creative director and CEO, Rogue Heart Media SPC
Brandan Hill, president, Ruffwear
Brian Holcombe, president, rygr
Kim Miller, CEO, Scarpa North America
Kevin Timm, founder and president, Seek Outside
Forrest Merithew, vice president and director of compliance, Singletrack Trails
Darcy Gaechter, owner and operator, Small World Adventures
Eric Hayes, chief marketing officer, Superfeet Worldwide LLC
Jenny Vierling, co-founder, Tailwind Nutrition
Linnea Swenson Tellekson, president, Sven-Saw
Diana Verna, owner, Teton Backcountry Guides
Rick Saez, founder and host, The Outdoor Biz Podcast
Gordon Seabury, CEO, Toad & Co
Mark Paigen, owner, Tread Labs
Julie Singh, co-founder, TripOutside
Steve Schmidt, partner, Western Rivers Flyfisher
Don Bushey, president, Wilderness Exchange Unlimited
Lance Reif, owner, Wildwater River Guides
Mike Lewis, senior director of global marketing, Zeal Optics