Seven Reasons Why The Outdoor Retailer Show Should Boycott Colorado

The Outdoor Retailer Show made national news recently when it announced it was leaving Utah due to the anti-environmental policies of the state’s politicians who have been rabidly trying to sell off public lands, overturn Bears Ears National Monument, and give the state completely away to the fossil fuel and mining industry. The Show is said to generate $45 million annually to Utah’s coffers in the form of sales and lodging taxes, and other financial boosts.

Colorado has been vying to bring the Show here — Gov. Hickenlooper made the pitch, the Denver Post made the pitch, as have a few other prominent politicians and voices around the state.

That would be a mistake for Outdoor Retailer, because while Colorado’s politics are somewhat greener than Utah, we still have a very serious problem with Hickenlooper.

1. Hickenlooper is rabidly pro-fossil fuel and fracking, and has sued local governments which banned fracking, supported a ballot initiative to undermine fracking bans, and garnered the name “Frackenlooper.”

2. Hickenlooper’s appointed Wildlife Commission rammed through a policy to forbid wolf reintroduction to Colorado, defying wildlife science and wildlife scientists.

3. Hickenlooper’s appointed Wildlife Commission rammed through a policy to slaughter more mountain lions and bears, defying the law, wildlife science, and wildlife scientists.

4. Hickenlooper doesn’t support the state having a “Climate Action Plan,” and repeatedly back-pedaled on attempts to create a Plan.

5. Hickenlooper recently supported two large dam-and-diversion projects that would further drain the Colorado River, including the proposed “tallest dam in Colorado” and the proposed second tallest.

6. Hickenlooper’s appointed Public Utilities Commission has been pro-coal and he’s tried to open up public lands in Colorado for more coal mining.

7. Hickenlooper has dramatically ramped up the incentives to lure more businesses and population growth to Colorado, to the sprawling peril of our environment.

If the Outdoor Retailer Show is trying to make a statement about leaving Utah, the exact same logic should make it boycott Colorado. As long as Hickenlooper remains in power, Colorado’s green image continues to tinge brown.

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Gary Wockner, PhD, is an environmental activist and writer in Colorado. Gary@GaryWockner.com