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Sunday, October 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Salt Lake leaders try to heal public lands political wounds with Outdoor Retailer

Attendees walk into the outdoor retailer event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Steve Griffin / Associated Press)
Attendees walk into the outdoor retailer event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Steve Griffin / Associated Press)

UPDATED with response form Outdoor Retailer

PUBLIC LANDS -- This news isn't surprising: The Salt Lake City Council wants the lucrative Outdoor Retailer show to reconsider its decision to leave Utah after two decades.

The council passed a resolution Tuesday night calling on show and industry leaders to reconsider its decision to move, the Associated Press reports. The council says it shares the outdoor industry’s core values and appreciates the industry’s efforts to protect public lands.

What's strange is that the council should first be passing a resolution to Utah's governor for his unyielding attitude.

The show announced last month it’s leaving because of the stance by the state’s Republican leadership on public lands. The industry is upset over demands by state leaders for the new Bears Ears National Monument to be rescinded.

This summer’s show could be the last one held in Utah. Colorado, Oregon and Montana have expressed interest in hosting the show.

The twice-yearly show brings an estimated $45 million in direct spending. The Outdoor Retailer Association pointed that out to the governor before he snubbed them last month.

Show organizers weren’t immediately available for comment.

UPDATE

Officials with an outdoor industry group say a resolution from the Salt Lake City Council urging them to keep their lucrative trade show in Utah isn’t enough to change the decision.

Outdoor Industry Association Executive Director Amy Roberts said in a statement Wednesday that Utah’s top political leaders continue to push for what she considers “anti-public lands” measures.

She pointed to U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop’s proposal asking for $50 million to help transfer federal lands to state control.

The Outdoor Retailer show announced last month it’s leaving because of the stance by the state’s Republican leadership on public lands. The industry is upset over demands by state leaders for the new Bears Ears National Monument to be rescinded.

“Until Utah’s political leadership reverses its anti-public lands agenda, we cannot consider Utah as an appropriate home for the trade show,” Roberts said.

The council passed a resolution Tuesday night calling on show and industry leaders to reconsider its decision to move. The council says it shares the outdoor industry’s core values and appreciates the industry’s efforts to protect public lands.

This summer’s show could be the last one held in Utah. Colorado, Oregon and Montana have expressed interest in hosting the show.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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