ICYMI: What's Happening Around the Industry
Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy outdoorsy headlines. We’ve combed the social networks and scoured the news outlets to curate some of the most relevant and most intriguing stories out there. Read. Enjoy. Share.
March 1—8, 2017
Zinke Gallops into Interior
Say hello to your new Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke. A former Montana Congressman and state senator, Zinke is no stranger to our industry and the outdoor lifestyle–he even rode a horse into office on his first day. ICYMI: Zinke co-sponsored the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act , supports the reauthorization and funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, is consistently outspoken in his opposition of the state takeover of public lands, and has vowed to fight President Trump on proposed cuts to Interior funding. We may not be aligned with the administration on all of our issues, but we’re optimistic about working with Secretary Zinke. In fact, the folks up on The Hill call Zinke “a rare bright spot in the Trump administration.”
Want to take action and let Zinke know how you feel about protecting public lands, like Bears Ears? It’s easy to send a letter using this simple form.
And That’s All She Wrote
When Secretary Wilbur Ross took command of the Commerce Department, OIA’s Executive Director Amy Roberts wrote him a letter. Not just the standard, “hey, hi, how are ya” pen pal exchange–we’re talking an in-depth, five-page address that congratulates Ross on his new position before diving into what that means for the outdoor industry, our expectations, and how we hope to work with him.
You hear a lot about the Department of Interior, but don’t forget, the Department of Commerce is also vital to the health of the outdoor industry. In addition to supporting manufacturers and trade, they’re the ones we’ll be working with to implement the Outdoor REC Act to count the outdoor industry’s jobs and economic impact.
This Week on Public Lands
But bringing us back down to reality: Utah Representative Rob Bishop has “asked that the 2018 federal budget include $50 million to enable states to take over federal public lands,” according to SNEWS. At this point, we’d be a broken record to repeat all the many reasons why that is an awful, no good idea. But what the heck: “As Chairman of the House Resources Committee, Rob Bishop should be the strongest champion of America’s public lands and our shared national heritage,” said Alex Boian, vice president of government affairs for Outdoor Industry Association. “Instead, he continually attacks and undermines them, this time asking that the FY 2018 budget resolution include $50 million for federal land transfer to states. Once again he has shown that elected officials in Utah are out of touch with their constituents and leaders across the American West.” Oh, and Utah Representative Chaffetz wants to block all proposed funding for Bears Ears National Monument. So there’s that.
Shall we continue? House Joint Resolution 44 aims to nullify BLM Planning 2.0. If you need a refresher, this means limiting public involvement in the planning of how BLM land is managed. Ken Rait, the director of the Pew Charitable Trust’s western land initiative thinks that restricting input on public land use is a step backward for democracy. (We agree). Folks, like Athens, Ohio residents who could lose their voice on managing places like Wayne National Forest, are starting to realize how this affects outdoorists locally.
The silver lining to the past few months of outdoor industry upheaval? “The outdoor industry is more galvanized than ever to fight for conservation.” Or so says Outside Magazine. How are we strategizing to fight the good fight? Through putting heavy pressure on our representatives when it comes to preserving public lands, funding lobbyists in D.C., and boosting access to the outdoors. Sleeves: rolled up. Hands: ready to get dirty.
We’ll leave your public lands update on a high note: Conservation and recreation groups are singing kumbaya around the campfire and coming together to make joint recommendations on public lands management practices. Like we always say: Together We Are A Force.
Today’s Local Rec Headline Brought to You By the Word “Rewilding”
What happens when a city outgrows itself, and the surrounding land happens to be the North Saskatchewan River ecosystem? For Edmonton, Canada, it’s an opportunity to see what happens when you support development while simultaneously protecting wildlife and natural habitats. The city has built dozens of wildlife passages, but their vision looks far beyond helping critters cross the road. The city is proactively bringing wilderness back into the cityscape, something it calls “urban rewilding,” citing benefits for everyone from the species that are being reintroduced to the citizens who are regaining a lost connection with nature.
What’s a Wallet?
According to SOTI Inc., “92 percent of consumers want to shop in stores that are equipped with mobile shopping experiences”—which means brick and mortar retailers better start incorporating the virtual universe into their real-world shops. Seems even plastic credit cards are too analog these days. Says SOTI: consumers rank faster (i.e. mobile point-of-sale) checkout and digital receipt options above personalized service. SNEWS wants to know: Does your store offer Apple Pay or some form of digital payment? Answer the five-second survey here.
What Price Naming Rights?
In case you haven’t heard: OIA is moving. Only about a mile, as the crow flies, from our current office at the foot of the Flatirons, but a new OIA HQ means new conference rooms that without—at the very least—hip, outdoorsy names would feel a little too, well, indoorsy. Help us name the four rooms and tweet us your ideas.