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Photo: Tenley Lozano // @tenlozano

An Open Letter: Together We Can Defend Our Public Lands

Ruffwear envisions a world where Every Dog is an Explorer. This vision inspires our product development, reflects our values, and creates a framework for the stories we share. We believe that dogs are happiest outside and that our relationship with our dogs is shaped by our adventures together. These outdoor experiences bring us joy, enrich our lives and make us whole. Ruffwear believes in protecting wild places where dogs and people go to play, which is why we are standing with the Outdoor Industry Association and many others in support of protecting public lands. Below is an open letter signed by more than 100 outdoor industry companies, urging President-elect Trump and Congress to keep public lands public.

To our elected officials and those who value America’s great outdoors:

This open letter expresses the view of more than 100 leaders of large and small businesses in the outdoor industry, which contributes more than $650 billion annually to the U.S. economy, generates $80 billion in tax revenue and employs more than 6 million people. Together, we represent a huge range of activities—from hiking to hunting and camping to conservation.

Our businesses make the lives of everyday Americans, from every corner of the political spectrum, healthier and happier. We do not often unite as an industry in the way we are today, but we are compelled to make clear our collective view on a vitally important issue that affects the economic health of our industry, our local communities, and the lives of all Americans.

It is an American right to roam in our public lands. The people of the United States, today and tomorrow, share equally in the ownership of these majestic places. This powerful idea transcends party lines and sets our country apart from the rest of the world. That is why we strongly oppose any proposal, current or future, that devalues or compromises the integrity of our national public lands.

As the 115th Congress begins, efforts are underway that threaten to undermine over one hundred years of public investment, stewardship and enjoyment of our national public lands. Stated simply, these efforts would be bad for the American people. They include the potential of national public lands being privatized or given to states who might sell them to the highest bidder. This would unravel courageous efforts by leaders from across the political spectrum up to the present day, including Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.

This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue that affects our shared freedoms. Public lands should remain in public hands.

We hold these views both as leaders of the outdoor industry — which creates significant economic value for this country — and as individuals who believe deeply that the next generation should be free to benefit from our national public lands as we and our families do today.

The undersigned companies are therefore working together to ensure that all Americans maintain their right to our iconic national public lands and that it is not taken away.

Outdoor Industry Association, Amy Roberts, Executive Director

Appalachian Outfitters, Mike & Karen Leffler, Owners

Ascent Solar Technologies, Victor Lee, President & CEO

Backbone Media, Penn Newhard, Founder & Managing Partner

Backcountry, Jonathan Nielsen, CEO

Backcountry North, Tracy Mayer, Owner

Backwoods Retail, Inc., Jennifer Mull, Owner & CEO

Benchmade Knife Company, David Fee, Vice President

BioLite, Jonathan Cedar, Founder & CEO

Black Creek Outfitters, Joe & Liz Butler, Owners

Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., John Walbrecht, President

Brooks Running Company, Jim Weber, CEO

Cascade Designs, David Burroughs, President

Chaco, Seth Cobb, President

Champaign Surplus, Dan & Shira Epstein, Owners

Clif Bar & Company, Kevin Cleary, CEO

Columbia Sportswear Company, Tim Boyle, President & CEO

Combat Flip Flops, Matthew Griffin, CEO

Confluence Watersports, Sue Rechner, President & CEO

Dakine, Ken Meidell, CEO

Darn Tough Vermont, Ric Cabot, President & CEO

Denali, Chris Howe, Owner

Diamond Brand Outdoors, Will Gay, Owner

Eagle Creek, Roger Spatz, President

Eastside Sports, Chris Iversen & Todd Vogel, Co-Owners

Exxel Outdoors, LLC, Harry Kazazian, CEO

Far Bank Enterprises, Travis Campbell, President & CEO

First Lite, Kenton Carruth, Co-Founder and Owner

Fishpond, John Land Le Coq, Founder & CEO

Flowfold, James Morin, Owner & COO

Goal Zero, William Harmon, General Manager

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, Rich Hill, President

Great Outdoor Provision Co., Travis Zarins, Owner

HipCamp, Alyssa Ravasio, Founder & CEO

Hydro Flask, Scott Allen, General Manager

Ibex Outdoor Clothing, Ted Manning, CEO

Idaho Mountain Touring, Chris & Jill Haunold, Owners

JanSport, Steve Munn, President

Kammok, Haley Robison, CEO

Keen, Casey Sheahan, CEO

Kuhl, Kevin Boyle, President

L.L. Bean, Stephen Smith, President & CEO

La Sportiva N.A., Inc., Jonathan Lantz, President

Light Speed Outdoors, Brian Cox, CEO

Lucy, Laurie Etheridge, President

Massey’s Outfitters, Mike Massey, President

Mountain Hardwear, Dennis Randall, CMO

Mountain Khakis, Ross Saldarini, President

Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Chris Parkhurst, Vice President

Mountain Works, Inc., Jim Smith, President

My Outdoor Alphabet, Seth Neilson, CEO

Nemo, Cam Brensinger, CEO

New Balance, Rob DeMartini, President & CEO

Nikwax North America, Rick Meade, President

Oru Kayak, Roberto Gutierrez, Founder & CCO

Orvis, Perk Perkins, CEO

Osprey, Layne Rigney, President

Outdoor Research, Dan Nordstrom, CEO

Outside Brands / Outside Hilton Head, Mike Overton, CEO

Pack & Paddle, John Williams, President

Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Scott & Carolyn Crook, Founders & Owners

Packtowl, Doug Jacot, Vice President

Patagonia, Rose Marcario, President & CEO

Peak Design, Peter Dering, Founder & CEO

Petzl America, Nazz Kurth, President

Piragis Northwoods Company, Steve Piragis, Owner

Platypus, Doug Jacot, Vice President

Point6, Peter Duke, CEO

prAna Living, Scott Kerslake, CEO

Ramsey Outdoor, Stuart and Michael Levine, Owners

Redington, Travis Campbell, President & CEO

REI Co-op, Jerry Stritzke, President & CEO

Rio, Travis Campbell, President & CEO

River Sports Outfitters, Ed McAlister, Owner

Roads Rivers and Trails, Emily White, Co-Founder & Owner

Rock Creek Outfitters, Dawson Wheeler, Founder

Ruffwear, Patrick Kruse, R&D Director & Founder

Rutabaga Paddlesports, Darren Bush, Owner & CEO

Sage, Travis Campbell, President & CEO

SealLine, Doug Jacot, Vice President

Simms, K.C. Walsh, President & CEO

Skinny Skis, Phil Leeds & Scott O’Brien, Owners

Soar Communications, Chip Smith, President

Sorel, Mark Nenow, President

Stanley PMI, Kelly Kraus, Vice President, Stanley Brand

Summit Hut, Dana Davis, President & Co-Owner

Sunlight Sports, Wes Allen, Owner

Superfeet Worldwide, John Rauvola, CEO

Tahoe Mountain Sports, Dave Polivy, Co-Owner

Tenkara USA, Daniel Galhardo, Founder & CEO

The Base Camp, Scott Brown, Owner

The Mountaineer, Vinny McClelland, President

The North Face, Scott Baxter, Group President

The Trail Head, Todd Frank, Owner

The Toggery, Trek Stephens, President

Therm-a-Rest Brands, Doug Jacot, Vice President

Timberland, Jim Pisani, President

Toad&Co, Gordon Seabury, CEO (& OIA board chair)

Trail Creek Outfitters, Ed Camelli & Brian Havertine, Owners

Travel Country, Mike Plante, Owner

Ute Mountaineer, Bob Wade & Maile Spung, Owners

Vans, Doug Palladini, President

VF Corporation, Steve Rendle, President & CEO

Weighmyrack, Allison Dennis, Founder & CEO

Western Spirit Cycling, Ashley Korenblat, CEO

Woolrich, Inc., Nick Brayton, President

Zumiez, Inc., Tom Campion, Founder & Chairman


If you’d like to get involved, text OUTDOOR to 52886 to join a vocal community committed to protecting public lands. You will be prompted with a few questions and notified via email with opportunities to take action.
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Photo: Ruffwear Ambassador Maria Schultz // @sup_with_pup
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Photo: Andrew Muse // @andrew_muse

3 thoughts

  1. Thanks for speaking out! Your views as a business make a powerful addition to our messages as individuals. Keep it up!

  2. Pingback: GOOD LUCK

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