FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Lee Hart, Brand Amp, 719.539.7788(o) 303.898.4141(m); Lee@BrandAmp.com
Jan. 21, 2009
Tweetup for Modern Day Monkeywrencher set at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market
Salt Lake City, UT – The nation’s newest poster child for civil disobedience will come face to face with the industry that may be best positioned to appreciate his environmental activism when Tim DeChristopher makes the rounds at this week’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
DeChristopher’s goal in attending the show is to raise awareness in support of a campaign he singlehandedly spearheaded to save the backdrop to two of Utah’s most famous national parks from oil and gas drilling operations. His efforts already have been applauded by the likes of movie star and environmentalist Robert Redford, the Yes Men, and Ken Sleight, aka Seldom Seen Smith, in Edward Abbey’s most famous work of environmental fiction, “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” DeChristopher has appeared on Democracy Now, CBS Evening News and been written about in major newspapers throughout the US and across the oceans from Great Britain to New Zealand.
DeChristopher will meet with top management from some of the leading manufacturers of human -powered outdoor gear who’ve expressed interest in and affinity with his cause. He’ll also conduct media interviews with the likes of Backpacker magazine as well as a radio interview for Wisconsin Public Radio’s syndicated “To the Best of Our Knowledge” and other regional and national outdoor enthusiast publications. A “Tweetup for Tim” is schedule at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Backcountry Village (Booth #35106) in the Salt Palace. The Tweetup, an offline meeting publicized largely via social media microblogging site Twitter, will be a chance for outdoor industry enthusiasts to meet Tim, suport his cause and listen in on Shannon Davis’ interview for Backpacker.
DeChristopher became the Monkey Wrench Gang’s newest de facto inductee when he bid against oil and gas industry veterans during a US Bureau of Land Mangement lease auction in Moab, Utah last month. Though DeChristopher had neither the means, nor any intention of paying for them, he won leases totaling $1.7 million for 22,500 acres of Utah red rock desert near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Many of the parcels were being contested by environmental groups since they in an area that contain the nation’s greatest density of ancient rock art and other cultural resources. Over this past weekend, a federal judge approved a temporary restraining order on the auction, signaling some chance the environmental groups’ claims may prevail.
A web site raising money for DeChristopher’s leases has brought in $45,000, but the BLM has not yet decided whether to accept the downpayment. Funds raised will also be used to defray legal costs, as DeChristopher is also facing possible fraud charges in federal court which, if the case goes to trial and he’s convicted, could include prison time.
This year’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market has attracted more than 800 exhibitors representing manufacturers of tents, backpacks, clothing, hardware, Nordic gear and all the accessories folks need to maximize their enjoyment and safety in the outdoors. The trade show, which is not open to the public, runs Jan. 22 – 25. DeChristopher’s appearance at the show is thanks in part to Kenji Haroutunian, Group Show Director, Nielsen Business Media. Thanks too to Alison Gannett, founder of the Save Our Snow Foundation, for welcoming DeChristopher to Backcountry Village.