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Outside Business Journal

Patagonia Endorses Political Candidates for the First Time Ever

The brand has significant stakes in Montana and Nevada—too many to stay silent

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On Election Day, Patagonia wants voters in Nevada and Montana to choose two specific U.S. Senate candidates who have vowed to protect public lands and waters.

This is the first time in the brand’s 45 years that it has publicly supported candidates and Patagonia insists the endorsements are “not born from a desire to get into partisan politics.”

Nevada is home to Patagonia’s global distribution center, more than 650 employees, and the famous Worn Wear repair center. It’s also home to the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area; Gold Butte National Monument; Basin and Range National Monument; and millions of acres of wilderness in Clark, Lincoln, White Pine, Humboldt, and Lyon counties.

Patagonia supports Democrat Jacky Rosen to represent the Silver State for her track record of fighting for the state’s outdoor recreation economy, calling for permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and urging interior secretary Ryan Zinke to reconsider shrinking efforts at Gold Butte and Basin and Range.

“She will fight to protect Nevada’s public lands and the vibrant outdoor industry that depends on them,” Patagonia CEO and president Rose Marcario said in a statement, mentioning Rosen’s strong record of defending public lands in Congress and protecting access to clean air and clean waters. “We need her leadership to protect Nevada’s economy and the basic health of its people, so the business community can thrive and so Nevadans can prosper,” Marcario said.

In Montana, Patagonia has an important outlet store and it’s where the brand created the 1% for the Planet program. The brand has given $5 million in grants to the Montana Wilderness Association, supported the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project—an effort championed by Democratic senator Jon Tester that proposes to expand a wilderness area by close to 80,000 acres. According to Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, “he gives a damn about protecting public lands.”

“He goes to work every day for the 95 percent of Montanans who believe recreation on public lands is a priority, unlike Republicans in Congress who only serve the fossil fuel industry,” Chouinard said in a statement. “He also knows something about living off the land—the only organic farmer in the Senate, and the only one bringing the beef he butchers through airport security when he has to travel to DC. Jon is a real advocate for hunters, hikers, and Montana’s thriving outdoor economy at a time when threats to clean air, clean water and public land are worse than we’ve ever seen.”

For more information about candidates in your state, view Outdoor Industry Association’s scorecard and Protect Our Winters’ voter guide.

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