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Outdoor Industry Preps For Parks Centennial

National Park Service Web Page

Outdoor industry leaders unveiled plans Thursday for celebrating the upcoming centennial of the national parks.

The Outdoor Retailer winter trade show is back in Salt Lake City this week, bringing together around 25,000 representatives from companies that make clothing and equipment for outdoor recreation, along with advocacy groups that promote public lands protection.

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis thanked outdoor industry leaders for efforts like defending the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“As we look to our second century,” he said in a speech Thursday, “we’ll be looking for your help in encouraging all Americans to explore, learn, discover, be inspired and simply have fun in our national parks and public land.”

Industry leaders introduced a fund for donating to local recreation sites and new diversity outreach efforts.

The birthday pep rally also featured Utah writer and environmental activist, Terry Tempest Williams. She praised the group for using its economic influence to fight resource development on public lands and to foster an appreciation for wildlands among leaders and the public.

“After spending our lifetime immersed in our national parks,” said Williams, whose latest book explores what national parks mean to Americans, “I believe we are slowly learning what it means to offer our reverence and respect to the closest thing we have as American citizens to sacred lands.”

The winter trade show ends Sunday, and returns with a summertime version in August. 

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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