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.

April 18, 2017

April 13–April 19, 2017

Prayers for Lou-Ann Merrell

The entire outdoor industry is saying prayers and sending good vibes toward the Grand Canyon, where Lou-Ann Merrell and her 14-year-old step-grandson went missing after losing their footing and falling into a raging creek on Monday. Merrell is the wife of Randy Merrell, founder of Merrell footwear. An experienced hiker who is familiar with the area, Lou-Ann is a true outdoorist, and the family is hopeful that she was able to get herself and the young boy to safety. They are confident that as long as the pair were able to get out of the water, Lou-Ann will know how to seek shelter and keep them safe until help arrives. Ground crews continue to search for them throughout the canyon.


A Hat Tip to Outdoorist Women 

In case you haven’t seen the cover of Outside Magazine’s May issue, recent woman-powered campaigns continue with the loud and proud declaration that the future of adventure is female. In a feature piece titled “The New Icons,” Outside profiles ten outdoor women who are making, shaking and inspiring the next generation of fierce females. From legendary ski racer and household name Lindsey Vonn to the founders of Girl Trek, we’re once again reminded that women are a force to be reckoned with. Rock on, ladies.


This Land Is My Land, This Land Is…Wait, Who’s Land Is This?

In this week’s edition of “Seriously, how hard it is to get people on board with protecting public lands,” we visit a piece by The New York Times that investigates everything from the Bundy siege of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to Outdoor Retailer’s exodus from Utah. The article takes both sides of the public lands battle into account, sharing perspectives from opposing views like those of Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario and Malheur protestor Butch Eaton. You already know where we stand, but The Times helps shed a bit of light on the other side of the table, too–reminding us that public lands are a conversation we all need to come together to have.


About Trump’s “Donation” to the National Park Service

Remember that time Trump donated his first-quarter salary ($78,333.32 to be exact) to the National Park Service? Our own Amy Roberts said it best: “It is great to see President Trump support the National Park Service with the contribution of his $78,333 first quarter salary. Now he just needs to donate that amount 26,000 more times to make up for his $2 billion in proposed cuts to the Department of the Interior.”


Don’t Fret: Here’s Some Good News 

It’s not all doom and gloom for public lands this week–the Bureau of Land Management announced last Tuesday that it had acquired 41 acres of once-private land in Kanarravile, Utah. Locals will recognize this as the home of Kanarra Creek, a popular slot canyon with striking ridges and waterfalls. How’d the BLM manage to fund the acquisition? Oh, you know, just a little thing called LWCF.


But Wait, There’s More…in Oregon

Legislation proposes to add it to the list of states with an office of outdoor recreation. In Oregon, the position would be housed in the Parks and Recreation Department. “People love coming here because our state has a lot to offer,” said Mark Johnson (R-Hood River), the representative who introduced the bill. “But in order to maintain what we’ve got, and expand outdoor recreation to parts of the state that don’t have it, we need an intentional voice advocating for outdoor recreation.” Well, said, Mr. Johnson. And may we add that you have more than one voice. You have the entire OIA membership on your side. That’s a lot of voices.


Southern Hospitality Hits the Trails in Birmingham

When you think about Birmingham, you might picture heaping plates of southern food and the Talladega Superspeedway, but you likely don’t think about trail running–until now. OIA member Roots Rated profiled the emergence of the city’s trail running community over the past decade in a piece that makes us want to book a ticket to tackle Ruffner Mountain. Bonus points: climbers will also dig Moss Rock Preserve, where you can run challenging trails and send boulders in the same spot.


And a Very Happy National Park Week to You

If you ask us, every week is National Park Week–but we’re stoked to see the entire country officially celebrating our nation’s best idea from April 15–23. In addition to two weekends of free access to parks, NPS is celebrating events like Park Rx Day on the 23. What does that mean? It means that no matter what ails you, a visit to your favorite national park this weekend could be the cure. That’s what we call universal healthcare.


Paddlers Rejoice: Epic Whitewater Ahead

To say that places like California have had a rough–and by rough, we mean absolutely parched–few seasons would be an understatement. The tide has finally turned thanks to higher-than-average snowpack across the West, and OIA member O.A.R.S. is predicting one helluva season for paddlers. “There’s no doubt this will be the best year we’ve seen since 2011,” said Chris Moore, O.A.R.S.’ California Regional Manager. From the American River in the Sierras to Utah’s Green River, this season promises to redeem the last few years of lackluster conditions. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have a fake cough to practice, a boss to tell we’re sick, and a river to float.


Op-Ed: Citizen’s Voice on Climate Science  

Think you can’t do anything about the climate deniers out there? Laura Jones would disagree. She took it upon herself to write a guest commentary in her local paper explaining just how damanging climate inaction can be on the local economy, and she told the story through the lens of local business—local outdoor business to be precise. That’s citizen journalism at its finest.


And Have We Mentioned the Outdoor Industry’s Economic Impact?

The hits just keep on coming. In a good way. In this article by the Richmond Federal Reserve—a branch of the nation’s central bank—underscores how significant the outdoor recreation industry is in the Federal Reserve’s Fifth District, which includes five states: the Virginias, the Carolinas and Maryland. If you ask us, that’s an economic analysis you can take to…well, you know.


Want more from the industry? Check out last week’s ICYMI and tweet us with your finds for the top outdoor stories for next week’s edition.