This week, Campion Advocacy Fund co-founder Tom Campion published a guest editorial in the Denver Post about the choice that Colorado’s Senator Cory Gardner faces with voting on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:
My company and I have had a long relationship with Colorado. In 1978, I co-founded the action sports retailer Zumiez, which now operates nearly 700 stores worldwide, with 19 in Colorado.
Access to public lands has been critical to growing my business, because action sports depend on them. Public ski and snowboard runs, public skate parks, and public beaches have made Zumiez the largest action sports retailer in the world.
Zumiez’s relationship with Colorado goes beyond our 19 locations: for decades, we have hosted our annual company party in Keystone. We bring more than 1,200 of our top sales employees from around the world to enjoy the stunning splendor of the White River National Forest.
Gardner has not typically been a partisan on public lands like White River. He has often taken a principled stand, like when he voted against efforts to weaken presidential land protection authority.
That’s what would make his vote to drill in the Arctic Refuge so disappointing. When arguing in favor of a national monument in Colorado, Gardner said, “Coloradans cherish our state’s public lands.”
I could not agree more. But Gardner needs to expand his statement: Coloradans cherish all public lands.