Standing with Bears Ears, but Not with the Outdoor Mafia


Original Post
Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,308

Realizing that politics and forums are a terrible mix, I now throw my caution to the wind and prepare for the onslaught of "you Philistine!" insults.

**********************************************************

-Intro-
Hello, from the dark, sparsely inhabited corner of the conservative conservationist.  Yes, we exist.  But we’re quiet because quite frankly, the rest of you are rather threatening (like slash-my-tires threatening).  I don’t really fit in with you guys protesting, rudely breaking up town hall meetings, and demanding ultimatums-or-else.  I also don’t stand with the “drill-drill-drill” crowd, or irresponsible energy exploitation. 

In short, alienation is the outcome of this most recent kerfuffle.  But rather than place blame or bicker over who started it, I want you guys to take a step back and think more long-term about the climbing “community’s” current actions locally and nationally. 

Before continuing, understand that I am for protection of Bears Ears, but am against how it was brought into the fold.  Understand that I am for public lands and am an avid user of them.  Understand that I am vehemently against the selling off of public lands and restricting access.  I am also extremely appreciative of the work that the Access Fund and American Alpine Club continue to fund and support. 

-Back to Topic-
In May, various members of the pro climbing community, Access Fund, and American Alpine Club attended “Climb the Hill” in D.C.  I watched with some interest through Facebook and Instagram updates. 

But as I listened, I realized this group didn’t speak for me.  Somewhere, the intersection of love of climbing, love of those areas, federalism, the Constitution, State needs, and a very slight libertarian streak in me were diverging.  Which path do I follow?  Which side do I fall on? 

If these paths all shoot off in different directions, what does that say about the topic? To me, it sounds like it’s not properly framed. 

Perhaps the arguments formed (by both sides) are selfish.  And maybe that’s why I’m so put off by both sides of this debate. 

Do you want allies?  You must stop alienating.

-Long Term-
Climbers used to an under-the-radar group.  We are now mainstream.  As a group, we now have congressional visibility.  That opens up an entire can of worms when a sports group becomes a political weapon.

There are many places throughout the US where climbing is performed on private land (the Gunks is one such example).  There are places where private land butts up against public land (i.e. the Dugout Ranch in Indian Creek).  I’ve been to places where you have to walk through private land to get to the public.

Yet my perception is that the community’s current actions have been largely alienating.  Here’s what I mean: we don’t see private land owners willingly allowing more climbers on their property (on the average).  We don’t see our influence pulling people in from the outside. Rather, the climbing community is finding like-minded people and creating echo chambers.  For all this talk about diversity, is there any room for political diversity?

I welcome your upcoming demonstration at the O.R. Show.  A lot of private land owners will be watching.  Consider your actions and the outcome if the land owners decide to prohibit access, and what this means for future development.

I also worry about increased federal regulation as we become a more visible group.  Will we regulate ourselves out of existence?

-My Admonition-
Climbing community voices: I challenge you to think long term about your current actions and how they’re perceived by those outside our user group, and outside your political circle.

Implemented correctly, I think your goals are good and worthy.  It’s analogous to eating: how and what you eat is just as important as eating itself.  Do it incorrectly and you may end up with a lifetime of regrets.  So it is as the community finds and implements its voice.

Dylan Pike · · SLC, UT · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

Hear hear

JaredG · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

I advise you to address your audience more specifically.  I loosely consider myself part of the climbing community (merely by posting here!) but I don't understand half the references you're making.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,000

TL;DR

Tim Lutz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

So you are a white, upper middle class engineer from Utah, voted for Trump, and now you are having mixed feelings now that He and the corporate wolves like Herbert and Chaffetz are dividing up the oil/gas spoils in your fair state.

You want to point the finger at the 'outdoor mafia', aka Pattagucci, to somehow justify your cognitive dissonance.  

The 'outdoor mafia' bailed on your hillbilly state government are taking their 45 million to greener pastures in libtard CO: it's called the free market.  Your 'libertarian streak' should appreciate that.

good luck with your entitled crusade

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 0

"I am for protection of Bears Ears, but am against how it was brought into the fold".

OK, how would you have gone about protecting it then? The politicians from Utah certainly don't care about conservation. Their "public lands initiative" was nothing but a thinly veiled giveaway to the oil and mining industries. Name one National Park / Monument that was created without some form of local opposition from the extraction industry? You can't. Grand Teton, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, Great Smoky Mountains, and every other federal park all faced similar opposition and cries of 'federal overreach' when they were protected. 

"Yet my perception is that the community’s current actions have been largely alienating.  Here’s what I mean: we don’t see private land owners willingly allowing more climbers on their property"

That is a greedy lawyer problem, not a climber problem. People are afraid of losing their property due to a lawsuit. If state and local politicians passed unambiguous laws protecting landowners who allow access, the number who allow it would increase significantly.

 

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

To a degree I see and agree with Charlie's stance...and I do tend towards the panty waisted, bed wetting, liberal.  I always felt that in order to increase our influence with the powers that be, we need to embrace the 'redneck' outdoor folk (shooters, hunters, ATV riders) rather than alienate them. Nobody will listen to us if we are just a small population of elitist environmental twats. 

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

I'm pretty in line with Charlie (OP) on this one. I'm from the other "O" town in Utah, an even more conservative place than Ogden. I'm fairly moderate with most things. I will be attending Outdoor Retailer next week, just as I do every 6 months. It will be interesting to see the protesters. I agree with most of what they will likely be saying, but I'm pretty sure that some of their stances will be too far reaching. I think most people in the US want their public lands left wild. 

My bottom line is this. Wilderness is a premium right now. We have more oil and gas available than we ever have, thanks to shale oil, etc. We don't need to be drilling in our public lands right now. The only reason to allow that is to make some company happy, and we have no need to make a company happy. If we get to a point where energy prices are crazy high because we're limited in oil availability, then lets open up the conversation to how we should go about opening public lands for energy exploration. 

I think we as a group (climbers) need to deal with this issue the way that Access Fund and Salt Lake Climbers Alliance has. By working to support open access to public and private lands by working with the associated parties to define use and practice on the land. It's not a free for all, but by being a responsible group we can maintain access to the land. We also need to work with other outdoor groups like hunters. They more often than not tend to be extremely conservative, but they are also big proponents of protecting our public lands. 

Until then I will continue to write and call my reps to tell them that I don't support their continued acceptance of campaign contributions from energy companies. I'm also 99% sure that Outdoor Retailer did not move because of the public lands issue in Utah. It was a nice diversion and reason to make the move they've been wanting to do so they can have OR support SIA in Denver. 

Tim Lutz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

Until then I will continue to write and call my reps to tell them that I don't support their continued acceptance of campaign contributions from energy companies. I'm also 99% sure that Outdoor Retailer did not move because of the public lands issue in Utah. It was a nice diversion and reason to make the move they've been wanting to do so they can have OR support SIA in Denver. 

 “Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution urging the Trump administration to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument, making it clear that he and other Utah elected officials do not support public lands conservation nor do they value the economic benefits that the outdoor recreation industry brings to their state,” wrote Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, on Tuesday. “Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah and we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.”

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply