The Economic Case

Elected officials require sound information to advocate on behalf of outdoor rec and public lands. When business owners and landowners join the coalition of public land advocates, doors open, political leaders listen and legislation related to the health and wellbeing of outdoor rec and public lands advances. This track looks at ways we can use the financial case for public lands to bolster the argument for their health and wellbeing.

Specific panels and workshops include:

The Rec Act: How The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account fits into the big picture of the American economy, and how the information it generates can effect legislative decision-making

Moderator: Michael Degnan, Consultant


  • Thomas Howells, Industry Analysis Division Chief, Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • Bob Ratcliffe, Recreation Director, National Park Service
  • Cailin O’Brien-Feeney, Outdoor Industry Association 

The Business Case for Advocacy: Why companies like Patagonia, Simms, First Lite and KEEN took positions on public lands and how they fared as a result

Moderator: Lindsey Elliot, Founder, Wylder (2017 SHIFT Award Official Selection)


  • Ryan Callaghan, First Light (2016 SHIFT Award Official Selection)
  • Ron Hunter, Patagonia (2017 SHIFT Award Official Selection)
  • Taldi Walter, REI (2017 SHIFT Award Official Selection)

The OR Trade Show Leaves Utah: A case study of an industry, political power, what we learned and what comes next

  • Luis Benitez, Director, Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation
  • Peter Metcalf, Founder, Black Diamond Equipment
  • Amy Roberts, Executive Director, Outdoor Industry Association
  • Maite Arce, Executive Director, Hispanic Access Foundation (2017 SHIFT Award Official Selection)

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