Colorado’s iconic mountains are the very fabric of what makes our state unique and offer something for everyone.
That’s why Osprey Packs strongly supports the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet and Congressman Joe Neguse.
This legislation would protect many of the spectacular lands in our backyard San Juan Mountains, like additions to the existing Mt. Sneffels and Lizard Head Wilderness areas, McKenna Peak, and the Ice Lakes Basin and surrounding mountains.
But it would do more – lands in the central mountains of Colorado on the spine of the Rockies would also be protected, in places like Holy Cross, Eagles Nest, and Hoosier Ridge. The rich wildlife and hunting area of Thompson Divide, with its long ranching heritage, and the aspen forest along Kebler Pass, would be put off limits to energy development. And to preserve a key piece of our state’s history, the training facility for mountain warfare during World War II would be designated as the Camp Hale National Historic Landscape, the nation’s first.
It’s a visionary proposal to protect some of the finest lands in Colorado.
Osprey Packs was founded in 1974, and has been operating in Colorado since 1990, designing and manufacturing the most technically sophisticated gear carrying solutions on the market. A leader in technical packs for outdoor, cycling, travel and urban adventures, Osprey’s dedication to create innovative, high performance gear reflects our brand’s love of adventure and devotion to the outdoors.
We’ve chosen to call Cortez home for simple reasons – a slower pace of life, a robust western agricultural heritage, and a wealth of stunning landscapes nearby, from desert badlands to the spectacular San Juan Mountains, in which to recreate and test the products we passionately create.
Many of our customers – as well as our own team members – regularly visit these outdoor treasures, particularly the sharp ridgelines and deep forests of Colorado’s signature mountains. This supports a thriving modern-day recreation and tourist economy. The opportunities are endless, from fishing and hunting to hiking, climbing, skiing and biking.
Osprey is one of over 300 local businesses across the state that support protection for their region’s public lands. And for good reason: outdoor recreation generates $28 billion in annual consumer spending in Colorado, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. The industry supports 511,000 direct jobs, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Many of those consumers regularly visit and recreate in protected public lands. Having our headquarters in Southwest Colorado is not only good for our team members’ lifestyles, it’s good for our bottom line, and the region’s economy.
The lands in the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act have long been proposed for permanent protection. All are broadly supported by businesses like ours, as well as numerous local stakeholders and elected officials.
Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Scott Tipton should support the bill and work with Sen. Bennet and Rep. Neguse to see it enacted. Our business is part of the outdoor recreation economy of southwest Colorado, and Osprey urges our congressional representatives to get these lands protected.
Layne Rigney is the president of Osprey Packs, in Cortez.