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PNS Daily Newscast - November 21, 2018 


Senators from both sides of the aisle want Trump to clear the air on the Khashoggi killing. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Massachusetts leads the U.S. in the fentanyl-overdose death rate; plus we will let you know why business want to preserve New Mexico’s special places.

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New Mexico’s Support for Public Lands May Be Good for Business

New Mexico is offering to host a giant, twice-yearly trade show that plans to leave Utah over that state's stance on the new Bears Ears National Monument. (Josh Ewing)
New Mexico is offering to host a giant, twice-yearly trade show that plans to leave Utah over that state's stance on the new Bears Ears National Monument. (Josh Ewing)
February 21, 2017

SANTE FE, N.M. – Utah has just lost a large conference of outdoor retailers over the state's policies on public land, and now, Sen. Martin Heinrich is offering New Mexico as a pro-public lands alternative.

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), which has held its giant trade shows in Salt Lake City for two decades, says it will seek a new home for them in 2018. It's a direct response to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's push to overturn the newly created Bears Ears National Monument.

Sen. Heinrich says New Mexico, by contrast, is currently asking Congress to add protections for its two newest national monuments, and thus, would be a good fit for the trade show.

"We have a state that has probably 68,000 jobs statewide that rely on this industry," he said. "It generates over $6 billion in consumer spending every year. It's a big part of our economy, and we want to embrace it."

That spending includes $458 million in state and local tax revenue in New Mexico each year. But competition for the Outdoor Retailer shows will be keen, with Oregon, Colorado and Montana already saying they'd like to host them. The trade shows have brought an estimated $45 million into the Utah economy each year.

Ron Hunter, the environmental activism manager for retailer Patagonia, an OIA member, says his company supports OIA's decision to move the show, and is going a step further, pulling out of the next two shows, which are still under contract to take place in Salt Lake City later this year.

"We don't have a thriving business unless we have access to public lands, and we're afraid that in Utah, they're taking away people's ability to enjoy the outdoors," Hunter said. "And we don't want to be in a state that does that, we want to be in a state that protects and celebrates their public lands."

President Trump's nominee for Interior Secretary – Congressman Ryan Zinke, R-Mont. – has said if he is confirmed, one of his first trips will be to Utah to address the controversy over Bears Ears, which is sacred to local tribes.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NM