Utah State Government Tries to Hold Onto Outdoor Retailer Show

Mar 10, 2017

Utah’s governor and legislature are still hoping to keep the lucrative Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City.

The twice-yearly expo for the outdoor-gear industry recently announced it is leaving Utah because of disagreements with the state’s leaders over public-lands policies. But the Salt Lake Tribune reports that on Wednesday a legislative appropriations committee added back to the year’s final spending bill a $1 million subsidy for the show it had previously pulled. The powerful outdoor industry has been at odds with Utah’s legislature, which recently passed two non-binding resolutions calling for rescinding the recent designation of Bears Ears National Monument and downsizing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. In addition, the retailers strongly disagree with Utah’s support for transferring federal public lands to state control. However, the Tribune reports that the legislature has just passed a bill calling for the state to assume “management responsibility” of public lands rather than obtain actual title to them. That conflicts with the position of Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, chair of the House Natural Resource Committee. In a recent letter to other congressional leaders, he reportedly called for “a paradigm shift” in federal land management and asked for $50 million to be set aside to encourage conveyances of federal land to state as well as local and tribal governments.