We recently had a discussion about the recreation industry going political (especially with regard to national monuments), and there have also been posts about the changing economics of rural communities. Here’s an op-ed from some high-tech entrepreneurs about why they want to be near public lands and about getting involved in their management.
“Public lands provide inspiration for innovation within our companies, they provide the backdrop for employee wellness and they serve as a competitive advantage in our ability to attract and retain talent.”
“Access to open spaces and public lands is what makes our businesses tick. They are not just a means by which we refuel, but are also providing a foundation of solid work culture, creativity, innovative thinking and a spirit of entrepreneurship. There are real benefits that ripple throughout our business model that depend on public lands and our access to vast wild places.”
“There is real data and an undeniable economic argument behind fighting for policies such as full funding and permanent reauthorization for the bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund, standing up against the rollback of protections for our national monuments and other public lands, and saving public lands at the doorstep of Yellowstone from industrial-scale gold mining. Montanans should have the right and the opportunity for intentional public engagement in the decisions that are made about our public lands. And now, it’s more important than ever for technology companies like ours, and others, to get engaged.”
My suspicion has been a little more simple-minded. When you can start a company that ships its products through the internet, and you can locate your business wherever you want, why wouldn’t you go where you want to be? And then you want to keep it that way.