Outdoor retailers continue fight to keep public lands in public hands

CEdar Mesa pictographs BLM

The 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah protects one of most significant cultural landscapes in the United States. Photo: Bob Wick, BLM

As the Trump administration continues its push to reduce or eliminate 26 national monuments, a move viewed by outdoors enthusiasts as a blow against all public lands, many outdoor products companies are taking a stand in defense of the monuments and  voicing support for public lands. Read the story here.

And don’t forget to enjoy your public heritage Saturday, Sept. 30, on National Public Lands Day. It’s a free days at federal recreation sites and many state sites. If you want to take an active role in your lands, many private, state and federal organizations are sponsoring demonstrations and volunteer on-the-ground work days. Call your favorite group or check the National Environmental Education Foundation website for a list of opportunites.

Among those groups getting dirty on Sept. 30 is the Grand Mesa Nordic Council, which

skyway trail sign

One of the new trail signs gracing  the Grand Mesa Nordic trails. Photo: GMNC

recently received a $6,000 grant from the Grand Junction REI store as part of the partnership between the two. Some of the grant is paying for the dozens of new signs marking trailheads and trail junctions along the estimated 31 miles of trails and part of the money will help pay for ski-trail grooming, said GMNC president Winslow Robertson.

“REI has been a great to work with and this grant will help us to continue to improve the skiing experience,” Robertson said. “It costs us about $4,000 per week during the season to groom the trails and this will augment the money from GMNC members.”

The Grand Mesa Nordic system is one of the few in the U.S. not charging a use fee.

The Nordic Council and REI are collaborating for a trail work day Sept. 30 on Grand Mesa to mark National Public Lands Day. Volunteers will be putting put up new trails signs and clearing trails of branches, rocks and debris. Information is available here.