Outdoor Industry Cites Economics of Wildland
The leading trade group in the U.S. for outdoor equipment and clothing is speaking out in support of the Department of Interior's Wildlands order.
The order calls for an inventory of lands within the BLM's jurisdiction for lands with wilderness qualities. Industry and government officials oppose the order because they fear it will slow development of oil and gas in the state.
Frank Hugelmeyer is President of the Outdoor Industry Association.
"This is not a jobs versus preservation or a jobs versus environment discussion as many have tried to classify it as. This is a jobs versus even more jobs debate. For too long reports have stated that conservation kills jobs and this is a false myth perpetuated by those who benefit from promoting a one sided argument."
Hugelmeyer says the outdoor industry is big business that generates 289 billion in annual retail sales and services, supports 6.5 million American jobs and contributes 730 billion overall to the US economy.
The outdoor industry and its customers place a very high value on undisturbed wild lands.
The Wyoming legislature is also, at this time, considering a bill that would strip the Environmental Quality Council of its ability to designate areas of Wyoming as very rare or uncommon.
Representative Mark Semlak is sponsor of House Bill 152. He says the designation is no longer necessary, because there are so many other processes available to protect our lands.