Outdoor Recreation

Steamboat Springs, like many of Colorado's high country resort communities, is grappling with how it wants to grow.

The city itself has more than doubled in population since 1990. Seasonal tourist booms formerly contained to summer and winter have bled over into spring and fall. With its increasingly sought after outdoor amenities, like hot springs, camping, hiking, mountain biking and skiing, the town swells with visitors most weekends out of the year.

Outdoor recreation offices in the West are spearheading a national network to promote the industry along with The National Governors Association.  

More and more people are becoming rock climbers, and the economic effects are big in our region. That’s according to a new report from the American Alpine Club.

 


Pilot Hill Land Purchase

Wyoming Pathways has been awarded the National 2019 Coalition for Recreational Trails Achievement Award.

Planning a climbing trip in the West? The federal government wants to help.

If you’re in the market for a new tent or fleece jacket, you could see prices for those products go up. The Trump Administration is proposing new tariffs on items like these that are produced in China.

 


MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

Kamila Kudelska

Last year was the first year fifth graders from three schools on the Wind River Reservation participated in a cultural field camp just south of Yellowstone. The day camp organized by the National Forest Service hopes to give Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho children a chance to learn their culture while outdoors.

It’s no secret that in peak season Yellowstone National Park is getting really, really crowded these days.

Increased tariffs on Chinese goods will ‘devastate’ outdoor recreation companies, an industry group warned in a letter sent to President Trump Wednesday.

A film festival highlighting women athletes is showing in Laramie this week. The No Man's Land Film Festival started in Carbondale, Colorado and now travels around the world with the goal of making the adventure and sports film genre more diverse.

Fight Oar Die's Facebook

The first four-person team of American veterans rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to grow momentum on the need to increase awareness of and support for the mental and physical health of veterans. Two of those veterans are from Northwest Wyoming.

A collection of outdoor trade groups announced they’re forming a collaboration to step up action on climate change.

Chris Steinkamp is the director of one of the trade groups, Snowsports Industries America, which represents snow sports suppliers. He says until recently, brands were hesitant to get involved on such a politically polarized issue -- until, that is, climate change started visibly edging into the reality of their businesses.

The outdoor recreation industry makes up an important part of the Mountain West economy and it’s feeling relieved right now after President Trump and President Xi of China have agreed to pause their escalating trade wars for now.  

The outdoor recreation industry is growing faster than ever, especially in our region. In fact, new statistics show this sector grew faster than the overall U.S. economy.

The ongoing trade war with China is feeling close to home these days. Mounting tariffs on outdoor recreation gear may hit the wallets of folks in the Mountain West who love going outside.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced $200 billion dollars worth of new tariffs on products from China.

“This is going to include backpacks, sport bags, leather ski gloves, bikes and some camping equipment,” Rich Harper, a trade analyst with the lobbying group Outdoor Industry Association, said.

A major outdoor apparel company is moving its global headquarters to Colorado. The move comes amid the growing economic and political power of the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry in our region.

Representatives of state outdoor recreation offices gathered in Denver Wednesday to sign something called the Confluence Accords.

The eight states include Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.

Antelope Butte Foundation

The Antelope Butte Foundation has raised $360,000 to restore a chairlift. It’s the latest development in the effort to reopen the Antelope Butte Recreation Area near Sheridan. The ski area originally opened in the 1960s but closed in 2004.

Aaron Linsdau

Have you ever wanted to pack up your bag, leave everyday life behind, and follow in the footsteps of famous polar explorers? Well, author and explorer Aaron Linsdau does just that — trekking solo to remote locations like Alaska, Greenland, and Antarctica. He has also translated his experiences into a career as a motivational speaker and will be speaking at the Wyoming Writers Conference in Dubois in June. Linsdau told Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard he first started thinking about becoming an explorer when he picked up backpacking in California.

When you hear about companies like REI or Patagonia, you might think about tents, rain jackets or hikers in puffy coats on a mountaintop. But how about politics? These outdoorsy companies are part of a new wave of business advocates fighting for public lands.


Bridger Teton National Forest

For the third year in a row, students from seven schools on the Wind River Reservation traveled to the Bridger-Teton National Forest to learn outdoor education. But this year fifth graders got some added instruction from tribal elders.

Tourists crowd downtown Jackson last summer.
Bob Beck


The University of Wyoming will be launching an Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management degree this fall. It’s been a three-year effort, but those in the industry have wanted the degree for almost 20 years.

The Patagonia website recently took another swipe at the Trump administration over its decision to shrink national monuments in Utah. This political activism may be the new norm for the outdoor recreation industry.

A landslide in a popular area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming's western mountains has locals worried about the region's economy.

CC0 Public Domain

An eleven-year-old male grizzly was the first bear sighting of 2018 in Yellowstone National Park. The male was seen in the east-central region of the park.

Airman 1st Class Alexis Visser, 90th Munitions Squadron, and Senior Airman Rachel Silverberg, 90th Force Support Squadron, hike the Hidden Falls trail in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., July 3, 2015.
Credit U.S. Air Force photo by Lan Kim

The federal government conducted its first economic analysis on outdoor recreation. It has a bigger impact on the country’s GDP than previously thought.

The new study by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that outdoor recreation accounted for two percent of the entire U.S. economy in 2016. 

Laramie Range where it borders Medicine Bow National Forest
Robert Kirkwood

Five minutes from downtown Laramie, Melanie Arnett unlocks a gate. She pulls a truck through and we’re inside the 5,500-acre parcel of land that Laramie folks have been drooling to explore for years. I’m feeling pretty smug about my VIP pass.

“Right now, we’re looking right at Pilot Peak,” says Melanie Arnett, who was recently hired to serve as the Pilot Hill Land Project’s director. A local businessman, John Pope with Blue Sky Group, volunteered to pay her salary for now.

Credit By Paul Rau and the Bureau of Land Management via CC BY 2.0

About 20 years ago, Wyoming acquired a ranch north of Cody that had briefly been the home of a wanted drug smuggler. Now, there’s debate in Park County about what to do with the property.

The Park County Sheriff and another local complained to the County Commissioners that the Beartooth Ranch near the Clark Fork of the Yellowstone River is an eyesore, full of decrepit buildings and weeds. So, the commissioners decided to write a letter to Governor Matt Mead requesting the right to sell the property.

Jackson Hole's annual SHIFT Festival brings together the outdoor recreation industry and conservationists. This year, the festival is focusing on making the case for how conservation can be good for business. Gov. Matt Mead's Policy Advisor Nephi Cole attended SHIFT to release a new report that he says will guide the state in how to enhance outdoor recreation in Wyoming.

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