SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – A new nonprofit group hopes to boost the economy by promoting outdoor opportunities in Utah.
The effort is bringing together an unlikely team of former rivals to accomplish a common goal.
“Doug and I ran against each other twice. And, what’s great is to be able to come together and put all of that, all the politics aside and work on an issue that we both see eye to eye on,” said Representative Mia Love, (R) Utah.
That issue is outdoor opportunity in Utah. Love and Doug Owens battled for the 4th Congressional District seat in 2014 and 2016.
Monday, they teamed up to launch Utah Outdoor Partners.
“The point of us being here together today is that regardless of politics we can all agree on the importance of Utah’s outdoors as a pillar of our economy,” said Owens.
The nonprofit will push Utah’s outdoor lifestyle as a plus for companies looking to expand or relocate.
A survey by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute shows that’s a key consideration.
“Utah’s outdoor lifestyle and access to outdoor recreation opportunities were among the most frequently cited factors when deciding to locate or expand their business in Utah,” Director Natalie Gochnour.
But, public lands can also be the center of controversy in Utah. This group says it will keep the politics aside.
“What we are going to do is highlight the economic benefit of Utah’s terrific lands and how we can maximize that benefit to the state coming from outdoor recreation,” said Owens.
Representative Love says she will take direction from the organization and will take that voice to Washington.
They hope to get other members of Utah’s delegation on board as well.