In early August 2012, Petzl America, along with 100 companies, signed a letter calling for President Obama to designate the Greater Canyonlands area a National Monument.
Why? Because the canyon country of Southeast Utah, Canyonlands National Park, and the Greater Canyonlands area host spectacular natural, biological and cultural resources. The area is known for world-class outdoor recreation and tourism, which increasingly has been driving a diverse and sustainable economy across the region, benefiting not only individuals, but also companies like Petzl, local businesses, and the entire State of Utah.
Right now, the needs of two fast-growing industries – outdoor recreation and energy extraction – are at odds in this region. With this in mind, Petzl supports protection for the Greater Canyonlands area. However, we have received some concerned comments from those who believe such protections might keep them from recreating in these areas. Because of this, we'd like to clarify our position and the intent of the letter we signed.
For some time now, Petzl America has been working collaboratively with the outdoor industry and the state of Utah to craft an outdoor recreation vision ensuring the preservation of the world-class recreational values in places like the Greater Canyonlands region. We hope that this open and transparent process results in a balanced approach to managing Utah’s public lands and resources. Until such a plan is in place, however, letters requesting protections are necessary tools to ensure that outdoor recreation interests are considered and preserved, especially as Congress remains in gridlock and unable to take meaningful action to balance outdoor recreation and energy development.
Our vision of this outdoor recreation future would keep appropriate roads and trails open to motorized travel. We are asking for this Monument to protect recreation of all types -- biking, jeeping, hiking, horses, OHVs, hang gliders, BASE jumping -- everybody. We are seeking to protect the area from mineral extraction, like oil and gas, tar sands, and oil shale. Development of these resources has already started and is slated to ramp up beginning next year on the 5 million acres to the north, south, east and west of Canyonlands.
We appreciate your concern in this matter, and hope that it is clear that we do not wish to impede any individual's use of public lands. Many of our employees here at Petzl America spend time in the beautiful canyon country just a few hours drive from our Clearfield, Utah, offices. Access to such lands is at the core of our company's DNA, which is precisely why we signed a letter in support of increased protections from extraction industries.
Thanks for your understanding and your support.