OIA Statement on Greater Canyonlands Monument Designation
For Immediate Release
Outdoor Industry Assocation
Boulder, Colorado, Nov 16, 2012 -
In early August 2012, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), along with 100 companies, signed a letter in support of designating the Greater Canyonlands area as a national monument.
The canyon country of Southeast Utah, Canyonlands National Park and the Greater Canyonlands area host spectacular natural, biological and cultural resources. The area is known for world-class outdoor recreation – from climbing and canyoneering to whitewater to off-road touring and mountain biking and more. Increasingly, these resources and amenities drive a diverse and sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism economy across the region.
The challenges facing the Greater Canyonlands area represent a much larger issue. Right now, the needs of two fast growing industries – outdoor recreation and energy extraction – are at odds.
Outdoor recreation is a large and growing economic driver in the U.S., representing $646 billion in direct spending each year and more than 6.1 million American jobs. OIA believes that it is crucial to find a balance between the needs of extractive industries and sustainable outdoor recreation. Conflict will continue until outdoor recreation is an equal and important consideration alongside energy development planning.
OIA is working collaboratively with the state of Utah to craft an outdoor recreation vision to ensure that the world-class recreational values of places like the Greater Canyonlands region are preserved. We hope that this open and transparent process results in a balanced approach to managing Utah’s public lands and resources. Until such a plan is in place, letters requesting protections are necessary tools to ensure that outdoor recreation interests are considered and preserved, especially as Congress remains in gridlock and unable to take meaningful action to balance outdoor recreation and energy development.
OIA aims to protect the integrity of this area for all types of outdoor recreation experiences. We seek a collaborative and holistic vision and approach that balances the competing needs on our nation’s public lands. With this in place, recreational user groups can work collaboratively to define management plans at the local level.
OIA and our members believe protecting our public parks, trails and waters is much more than just about the land. It is about protecting the economy, communities, companies and people whose lives depend on having access to high quality outdoor recreation experiences.