Patagonia stages light projection protest against federal government

Patagonia staged a protest against the government's land use policies in Colorado this week. The message was cast via light projections against buildings as the industry converges for the Outdoor Retailer trade show.

Twitter @MonumentsForUSA

On the evening of January 24, Patagonia cast a light projection against both the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park and the Bureau of Land Management's headquarters in Lakewood, CO. The projection read several hashtagged messages which included phrases such as "Monuments for All," "Stand With Bears Ears" and "Save Grand Staircase."

The projections also included a countdown clock which targeted 9am Eastern Time on February 2. That time and date are when the Trump Administration has authorized the Bureau of Land Management to allow companies to enter the lands and begin mining and drilling.

Patagonia explained that the "action aims to raise awareness not only of the attacks on national monuments in Utah, but on all the public lands across the country that belong to all Americans."

Patagonia's activism centers around the federal government's shrinking of several National Monuments including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. The lands were used for recreation across multiple sports when protected, as well as being held as sacred tribal land.

Patagonia is currently suing the US government for an illegal act based on last year's executive order issued by President Trump which removed protection over culturally significant lands. The order effectively opened the land up for mining and mineral exploitation by private companies.

Outdoor Retailer (OR) is aligned with Patagonia's position on conservation and environmentalism. The Ventura, CA-based company helped activate its fellow exhibitors last year and ultimately helped inspire a move for the trade show from mining-friendly Utah to the more outdoor recreation-focused and environmentally friendly Colorado.

Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, the title sponsor of the show, explained the rationale for the show's move last year, saying that when Utah's governor asked the Trump Administration to remove protection on the lands last year, it was "a finger in the eye to our industry, which is really dependent on public lands."

The outdoor industry is an $887 billion industry. When OR was held in Utah, the show itself brought in $20 million per show or $40 million annually to the local economy in consumer spending.

For the light projection protest this week, Patagonia joined with the Conservation Lands Foundation, the Wilderness Society and the Center for American Progress.

Outdoor Retailer and its sister show, Snow Show are currently underway in Denver, CO. The shows run January 25 - 28, 2018.

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