Opinion: Vote the outdoors in November | SteamboatToday.com

Opinion: Vote the outdoors in November

In 2002, SmartWool moved its headquarters into the Steamboat Springs Airport terminal building.
Matt Stensland

As Steamboat locals, we are fortunate to live in a state that offers stunning landscapes and unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities. Part of what makes Colorado so beautiful is our collective, unabashed commitment to the outdoors. With Election Day a month away, we need to commit even more so.

There has been so much movement against public lands in the past 18 months, it is hard to keep up and even harder to know what to do or how you can make a difference. I urge you to make the outdoors one of your key voting issues Nov. 6. Vote for those politicians who love and support our nation’s public lands as much as you do.

I encourage you to educate yourself about the challenges facing our outdoors. There are a number of easily accessible resources that offer a wealth of information, including a number of Smartwool partners like:

• Outdoor Industry Association: outdoorindustry.org

• The Nature Conservancy: nature.org

• Protect Our Winters: protectourwinters.org

• The Conservation Alliance: theconservationalliance.com

It’s important to know where your politicians stand on public lands. The Outdoor Industry Association has made it easy with the OIA Voters’ Guide that launched Oct. 1. Simply go to https://outdoorindustry.org/2018-voters-guide/ to learn about those running for office and the critical issues facing the outdoor industry.

Show up and let your voice be heard. I was so proud that Smartwool was a part of the “Stand For Our Lands” community rally in August. I was even prouder to see this community show up in full support. You all rallied in a way we hadn’t seen in quite some time. Thank you.

We need to do more than rally, though. With voter participation as low as 36 percent in recent years, it is even more critical that we have a community of engaged outdoor participants who are willing to vote for the outdoors.

As part of the larger Time to Vote initiative, Smartwool will be giving our employees paid time-off to vote this year. If you own or run a business locally, I hope you do the same.

Again, I urge you to make the outdoors one of your key voting issues in November. Vote in alignment with your love and support for our nation’s public lands. Please, we need your voice in this year’s election, make 2018 the year you “Vote the Outdoors.”


Jen McLaren

Smartwool president

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