OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts penned a letter urging more outdoor brand leaders to come together and defend public lands.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Together We Are a Force: Join more than 100 brand leaders in telling elected officials that public lands should remain in public hands.

 Last week it was great to see that so many of us in the outdoor industry came together again for the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City. For OIA and people across the industry, protection of our public lands and waters was on our minds.

 As a new Congress begins in Washington, D.C., and we await the inauguration of a new president, there are more questions than answers and growing concerns that we will face new threats to our land and water, the very foundation of our industry. It is imperative, now more than ever, that we come together.

 That is why it was incredible for more than 100 leaders from brands large and small, from Appalachian Outfitters to Zumiez, to join REI, Patagonia, The North Face and Outdoor Industry Association in a letter calling on our elected officials to “strongly oppose any proposal, current or future, that devalues or compromises the integrity of our national public lands.”

 More brand leaders are signing on every day, and we invite you to join us and demonstrate the unity and power of our industry.

 Please email Jessica Wahl at jwahl@outdoorindustry.org to add your company’s president, CEO or owner.

 The letter was published online — the same day that Congressman Ryan Zinke testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior — and there will also be a full-page ad in today’s Washington Post. Protection of public lands, funding and access to recreation and the powerful outdoor recreation economy were front and center as senator after senator posed questions to the nominee.

 OIA supports Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior, and as he highlighted the need to get young people outside and invest in the infrastructure of our parks and trails, we took note as he said, “We all live in the legacy of (Teddy) Roosevelt today…,” and on climate change stated, “I do not believe (climate change) is a hoax…and man has had an influence.” And on the growing land transfer movement in the West, he stated unequivocally, “I cannot be more clear; I am opposed to the transfer or the sale of federal public lands.” We are encouraged by his views on public lands management, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and climate change.

 We know that support for the outdoor industry rises above partisan politics, and yesterday made it even more clear that leaders in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country are listening. We must continue to come together to communicate that an investment in outdoor recreation is an investment in healthy communities and healthy economies and that a threat to our public lands is a threat to the outdoor industry and the millions of jobs we support across the United States. Today, we must come together and be a unified force for public lands.

 Please show your support and sign on to the letter today.

 Amy Roberts

Executive Director

Outdoor Industry Association

Photo courtesy OIA