OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ASKS OBAMA FOR A NATIONAL MONUMENT
Yesterday, 40 Utah businesses joined 60 national outdoor brands in calling for the creation of “Greater Canyonlands,” a 1.4-million acre federal wildland surrounding Canyonlands National Park. This was no idle call to action: They put dollar signs behind their request to the White House. Not only do these companies add $42.5 million to the twice-annual Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake each year, but their letter cites data from the Western Governors’ Association showing that outdoor recreation in the West equals almost $256 billion annually and supports 2.3 million jobs. Ashley Korenblat, president of Western Spirit Cycling in Moab, joined a chorus of voices fighting for the tourism and outdoor businesses in the Beehive State: “The outdoor industry can’t just sit back and hope the conservation community will take care of it all. This is about jobs. If we start taking away pieces of the world-class setting around Moab, it will impact our economy…this whole thing is based on the assumption that the public lands are going to be worth visiting.” This latest salvo is part of a larger push to draw attention to Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s attempts to reclaim more than 30 million acres of federally controlled public lands. The list of signers includes nationally known brands including Patagonia, Camelbak, Eastern Mountain Sports, and prAna, plus Utah-owned businesses such as Black Diamond, Backcountry.com, Petzl, Rim Tours, Moab Cliffs and Canyons, and Canyon Voyages Adventure Co. Via Salt Lake Tribune.
COLORADO SKI RESORTS FORMALIZE UPHILL SKINNING RULES
They aren’t charging admission…yet. But several Colorado resorts, including Keystone, Vail, Loveland, A-Basin, Copper, all of Aspen Ski Co.’s hills, and Winter Park are setting down formal guidelines for the skiers who show up every morning for pre-dawn skins to the tops of their resorts. It’s happening in part because workers on these mountains need to know who’s out there, which is why there are guidelines being issued that aren’t part of typical lift-ticket protocol. For instance, the need to wear reflective clothing so the headlights of a snowmobile or cat can highlight skinners, a headlamp requirement, whether or not you can bring your pooch, and other rules, including specifying uphill approaches to cordon off skin lines. The future may include required passes, too: Loveland, Sunlight, and Crested Butte already require them. Via Denver Post.
UCI’S LETTER TO CYCLING GETS THE FINGER IN REPLY
Earth to Pat McQuaid’s UCI, you’re off the back, DFL, and embroiled in a mess of your own tortured making. The UCI, for those who haven’t followed the august cycling policy machine, has recently been accused of not only trying to cover up the Lance investigation by USADA’s Travis Tygart, but is now being counter-sued by the journalist Paul Kimmage, who says McQuaid and others at the UCI are guilty of fraud (Kimmage was defamed and sued by the UCI for writing that Armstrong was guilty and the UCI was covering it up; a suit which was very belatedly dropped). Now McQuaid has the stones to write an open letter to the cycling community, published in VeloNews, that suggests that the UCI’s new whistleblower campaign will allow cyclists to privately come forward and call attention to misconduct. As if. The very first comment sums up the general sentiment: “would anyone in there right mind call the UCI if they had real info on doping and wanted anything to come of it?…Pat.. how can you not understand you have a major conflict of interest… the UCI should have no part in doping control or doping hotlines etc… give it a rest, no one believes you nonsense any more… we are laughing at you.. you are a joke!” A more professional take-down in the Irish Independent spells out all the ugliness. The UCI is toast, and if professional cycling has any future it will be with an entirely new governing body. Via VeloNews.
UPS AND INTEL SPIKE FUNDING FOR BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
After an online petition received more than 80,000 signatures the UPS Foundation cut its more than $85,000 in annual grants to the youth organization. This follows Intel cutting its funding of the Boy Scouts, and comes in the wake of extraordinary news in October that the BSA kept so-called “Perversion Files” on leaders who sexually assaulted boys. The thousands of confidential files released as part of a lawsuit show top Boy Scout leaders for decades carefully tracked thousands of scoutmasters and volunteers who sexually abused boys in their care but routinely failed to report those individuals to law enforcement. The corporate cuts to BSA though are in response to a July decision by the the Scouts reaffirming an anti-gay stand on members and leaders. Apparently no such policy exists to prevent pedophiles in the ranks. Via Businessweek.com.