The outdoor industry is standing together yet again to protect its open spaces, this time to defend a proposed wilderness area surrounding Desolation Canyon, Utah. With the support of the Outdoor Industry Association, over 30 national companies signed an open letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to voice their opposition to the Gasco Natural Gas Development Project. The project would authorize more than 125 new well pads in the Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness, having a potentially devastating effect on the area if approved by the Bureau of Land Management.
“Gasco development in the proposed wilderness is economically the wrong thing to do,” explains the letter's author, Black Diamond Equipment founder and CEO Peter Metcalf. “Utah’s outdoor recreation industry adds $4 billion to Utah’s economy, as well as supports 65,000 jobs and generates about $300 million in annual state sales tax revenue. The widespread support of many top outdoor industry brands shows cohesion within an industry that contributes over $730 billion in a sustainable economic growth to the US economy."
The group supports an alternative plan (known as Alternative E) which would preserve the Desolation Canyon recreational experience, while allowing Gasco to access most of the natural gas reserves.