Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia and Kenton Carruth of First Lite. Photo by Chris Crisman
This summer, host Hal Herring was invited on a fishing trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness by Ryan Callaghan, a member of the BHA North American board and the director of conservation and public relations at First Lite. Joining them was First Lite co-founder Kenton Carruth and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.
Recognition of the collective power of outdoor interests – that we are more united in our passions and in our appreciations for public lands and waters than we are divided – is growing. And so, on a scorching July day the co-founder of one of hunting’s fastest growing companies and the founder of one of the outdoor industry’s most powerful brands shared a stretch of ice-cold, gin-clear trout water in the mountains of Montana.
A bonus episode of the BHA Podcast & Blast, featuring Carruth and Callaghan, resulted from the trip. Hal talks to the First Lite team about the company’s founding, the confusing and alarming statements made by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah about public lands, and the coming together of outdoor enthusiasts. We’re pleased to share this with you as part of our celebration of Public Lands Month. Give it a listen above!
Then, read the Field & Stream article Hal wrote about the trip, “The Allies: How two businessmen have joined forces to fight for public lands". The piece provides insight into the backgrounds of Carruth and Chouinard and their shared vision for a unified outdoor industry. Both have adopted a business ethic of giving back to conservation groups they believe in, including BHA. (If you haven’t already, check out Hal’s podcast with Chouinard, which he recorded at the BHA 2018 North American Rendezvous.)
At no time has collaboration within our community been more important. We need collective influence in today’s efforts to protect the lands and waters we love. BHA strives to be a welcoming group as diverse in its membership as those who recreate on public lands and waters. Consider Chouinard’s reaction to a first-time attendee of BHA Rendezvous: “I felt like I’d finally found my people.”
And consider this quote from Callaghan: “We are representing the hunting community in a lot of big talks in the greater outdoor recreation community, and we don’t agree with everything that’s said. It turns out we’re people. And it’s OK to have different thoughts. But, we’re all in the woods for the same thing.”