Outdoor Recreation

MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

A recent study reports people are more likely to move to recreation-based economies, which can have big implications throughout the Mountain West.

The non-profit research group Headwaters Economics concluded that the recreation economy might be the key to keeping residents in rural counties - and attracting new ones.

Increased tariffs on Chinese goods will ‘devastate’ outdoor recreation companies, an industry group warned in a letter sent to President Trump Wednesday.

The 2019 State of the Rockies report says 70 percent of western voters identify as "outdoor enthusiasts." The annual bipartisan poll surveys how voters across the Mountain West feel about public lands, water, wildlife, and energy expansion. 

The ongoing trade war with China is feeling close to home these days. Mounting tariffs on outdoor recreation gear may hit the wallets of folks in the Mountain West who love going outside.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced $200 billion dollars worth of new tariffs on products from China.

“This is going to include backpacks, sport bags, leather ski gloves, bikes and some camping equipment,” Rich Harper, a trade analyst with the lobbying group Outdoor Industry Association, said.

A major outdoor apparel company is moving its global headquarters to Colorado. The move comes amid the growing economic and political power of the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry in our region.

If there's a fee for either a camping site or a day use area on Forest Service land, there's probably some kind of toilet there. But solving the problem of human waste in vaulted or backcountry toilets is not as easy as flushing it out of the system.

Joe Adams / Flickr

Representatives of state outdoor recreation offices gathered in Denver Wednesday to sign something called the Confluence Accords.

The eight states include Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.

Courtesy of Alessandro Franchin

Public lands have been in the news a lot this year. They comprise much of the Mountain West, from around 30 percent of land in Montana and Colorado to more than 60 percent in Utah and Idaho. This summer, we’re taking you on a tour of some of our favorite public lands.

Target shooting is a popular activity on public lands across our region. It's also the second leading human cause of wildfires.

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