Sustainable, that’s the word for one outdoor business.

The Utah Valley University (UVU) Center for the Study of Ethics together with the UVU Woodbury School of Business sponsors the Kirk Englehardt Annual Business Ethics Award which is awarded by UVU President Matthew Holland the sixth President of UVU and the Board of the Center for the Study of Ethics of UVU.

Professor Elaine Englehardt founded the Kirk Englehardt Business Ethic Awards in honor of her late husband Mr. Kirk R. Englehardt, formerly a partner for twenty-four years in the firm BUSINESSMAN PLANNING and INVESTMENT RESEARCH, Inc. Sadly Kirk died of Cancer in 2003 after an extended and brave fight with the disease.

My wife, the sister of the late Kirk Englehardt, and I, together with our oldest daughter were able to take time from our various employments to attend the UVU event. It was only second time in nine years that I had been in town when the award presentation was held and able to attend with my wife.

We walked the long walk from the north parking lot to the UVU Student Center, climbed a flight of stairs and entered a room to briefly attend the tail end of a reception before the award ceremony. We noted that U.S. Representative Jim Matheson (D-UT) was in attendance along with UVU ethics professor David Keller whom I????????d met on another occasion when I was a guest speaker at a UVU forum about the United Nations years before. At that forum I had been the sole opponent of the United Nations.

Once inside the theater I noted that this event too was being video-taped by the university. I imagined the University has a wealth of archived video. It would be fun to explore what is in the archives, I mused.

March 26th, 2013 was a Tuesday, but I had taken the day off as a vacation day mostly to work on tax filing and to attend the 9th annual Business Ethics Award presentation held in the Ragan Theater in part to accompany my wife to honor her and her late brother; in part out of curiosity concerning the presentation.

The well known, well dressed and cheerful professor Elaine Englhardt (my sister-in-law) welcomed the crowd that included some employees of Black Diamond Equipment, a number of UVU professors, family members related to the late Kirk Englehardt, the President of UVU and other dignitaries of the university. Elaine????????s ethics classes that have been broadcast over television have made her a well known professor to many thousands of people living in Utah.

Together with the tall, curly-haired Professor Keller at the lecturn the President of UVU Matthew Holland made the award this year to the CEO and President of Black Diamond Equipment (BDE) Mr. Peter Metcalf. BDE is a Park City, Utah based outdoor-sports equipment manufacturing company focused on manufacturing gear for the climbing and snow skiing sports. BDE has operations on three continents.

Mr. Metcalf was billed to speak on the topic ??????Mission and Style: The ???????sustainable why???????? behind the ???????what???????? in business.??????

Having been born and raised in Utah where I had snow skied at many of Utah????????s famous ski resorts, camped in the various mountain ranges of Utah since my youth, ridden my horses all over the deserts and mountain ranges of Utah, successfully hunted elk and deer in Utah????????s public lands, and explored most of the state along with all of its National Parks, I was interested to hear what the head of a company that makes ski and climbing gear had to say about the ??????Sustainable why.” I have always loved the outdoors and Utah’s magnificent scenery.??????

Why was I curious about what Mr. Metcalf had to say? Having read much of Bill Clinton????????s 1998 President????????s Council on Sustainable Development report entitled SUSTAINABLE AMERICA- AMERICA????????S ENVIRONMENT, ECONOMMY AND SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY, which had a forward written by Al Gore, I wondered if Mr. Metcalf would be one of those who are in tune with the ??????sustainable?????? ideas of the United Nations AGENDA 21, the global body????????s environmental agenda intended for all of earth????????s inhabitants for the 21st Century.

After accepting the Business Ethics Award and the showing of a brief film about BDE the articulate CEO of BDE Peter Metcalf told the audience that Black Diamond Equipment is a global company.

Peter struck me as thin, healthy, intelligent, active, confident,engaged leader as he spoke to the group. Chief Executive Metcalf stated that the business he founded in 1989 in Ventura, California is a ??????global employee collective.??????

It was startling to me to hear the CEO of an American-based company describe his company as a ??????collective?????? rather than as a corporation, or a partnership, or an LLC, or some other legal description of the legal form under which his company was organized. To ears raised in our somewhat free-enterprise capitalist system a “collective” describes a business model found in a socialist system.

Anyone, I thought, who has studied communism in China or Russia has read about the ??????collective?????? form of government-owned business enterprises and government ownership of the factors of production. That is why I found it startling for Mr. Metcalf to describe the BDE company with such a term as a ??????global employee collective.??????

Peter Metcalf grew up just outside of New York City and began skiing in 1968, just three years after I skied for my first time at Sundance Ski resort in Utah. On one Internet website CEO Metcalf informs readers ??????My start to rock climbing was in ????????69 via an Appalachian Mountain Club????????s beginner weekend at the Schwangunks. I was hooked by the end of the 2nd day.?????? It seemed natural for him to gravitate towards a business ceating equipment to be used in pursuit of such sports.

According to Metcalf BDE leaders believe that ??????If we do good for the community [we serve], we would be rewarded.?????? CEO Metcalf talked about being involved in the ??????public envisioning processes.?????? As he spoke I found myself wondering if he shared an ideology closing fitting that of those in government and big business promoting a “Sustainable America” that fits into the UN’s Agenda 21 ideas.

Was the “public envisioning process” he spoke of,I wondered, part of the self-appointed ??????Envision Utah?????? group that has held public meetings to promote its vision of centralized planning for Utah?

When I did a Google search looking for an Envision Utah connection I instead found Peter????????s photo on the website of CATALYST MAGAZINE. Here????????s the website: http://www.catalystmagazine.net/this-month/item/2138-the-catalyst-100.

While Peter had been among ??????The Catalyst 100,?????? the document that listed the one-hundred was no longer available. But I found the same article on the Catalyst magazine????????s online issue????????s website.

The article, ??????The Catalyst 100,??????written by Alice Toler, Greta de Jong and Jane Laird included a photo of Peter and included an interesting tidbit about Metcalf????????s views towards the State of Utah and its sovereignty over land within its borders. In the article we read: ??????In July 2012 he [Peter Metcalf] resigned from the Utah Ski and Snowboard Working group in protest over Governor Herbert????????s legislation asserting Utah????????s right to control federal lands within the state.??????

Still speaking at the Ragan Theater, the CEO of BDE said that he was glad of the monetary success of his company as it allowed for ??????public policy influence.?????? He is a businessman in a business that has a real vested interest in the ??????out-door eco-system?????? as he called it.

He told us of his experiences as a CEO meeting with the former Governor of Utah Mike Leavitt when he was Governor and how he found Mike Leavitt to be more in tune with the extraction businesses such as oil extraction, coal or metals mining and ranching than with outdoor sports businesses.

Metcalf stated that the outdoor industry is a $4-billion industry that contributes $300-million in tax revenues. The BDE CEO described for his audience his close-relationships with past Utah Governor John Huntsman and past Utah Governor Orlene Walker characterizing his relationships with those Governors as very cooperative or collaborative. However he finds himself today at odds with Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

Peter said that “activism at the grassroots level works.” He was certainly active with Utah’s Governors. I could relate to grassroots activism since I manage volunteers engaged in grassroots political activism.

Chief Executive Officer Metcalf said that, ??????If Mao????????s revolution was defined by his little red book,then climbing was defined by a company catalog of Chouinard Equipment.?????? CEO Metcalf had received that particular catalog and been deeply impressed by it. Later he worked for Chouinard Equipment before founding his ??????leveraged?????? Black Diamond Equipment.

It surprised me to hear the CEO of a Utah-based manufacturing firm referring to the late Chinese Communist Party leader Chairman Mao Tse Tung and his LITTLE RED BOOK. Although I understood that CEO Metcalf was making a statement about a publication that had defined something, in this case a very bloody ??????revolution,?????? I was still surprised he would choose that example because of the nature of Mao Tse Tung as a very negative force for using murder-by-government in the world. Mao Tse-Tung, ??????who for decades held absolute power over the lives of one-quarter of the world????????s population was responsible for well over seventy-million [Chinese citizens????????] deaths in peacetime, more than any other twentieth-century leader,?????? according Jung Chang in her 801-page 2005 book THE UNKNOWN STORY- MAO.

Listening to Mr. Metcalf speak from the stage in the Ragan Theater I wondered why any company CEO would want to associate himself and his company with the name of Mao in any context. Is a nod to Chairman Mao some kind of signal or message to his listening audience?

Mr. Metcalf told us of his varied background working as a ??????chain hand?????? for a wild cat drilling rig in Wyoming extracting oil from the ground and working for Chouinard Equipment.

CEO Metcalf inaccurately quoted Winston Churchill as saying, ??????If you????????re under 30 and not a progressive you have no heart, if you????????re over 40 and not a conservative you????????ve got no Brain.?????? Often people quote Churchill as having said that, but the quote is falsely attributed to Winston Churchill.
( http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101006211319AAVOv8g )

After working for Chouinard Equipment Mr. Metcalf founded Black Diamond Equipment in Ventura, California. Subsequently he decided to move his company to Utah in 1991 because it was the ??????right place to come.?????? He told us that there were a lot of [federal] public lands in Utah that were well managed. Speaking of the ??????sustainable model?????? of business he said that the wilderness areas are necessary for Black Diamond????????s success.

Listening to Mr. Metcalf he made it very clear that to him keeping ??????open space?????? open and in the public domain rather than owned privately was of major importance to him, to his business interests and to the interests of other outdoor businesses linked to such entertainment activities as tourism, skiing and mountain climbing.

Mr. Metcalf talked about those ??????rich cattle ranchers?????? and other extraction businesses such as mining, oil extraction, or forest harvesting as though extraction businesses were in competition with BDE and other outdoor sports businesses for the use of the public lands . He seemed to view the extraction businesses in a negative light as being harmful to the land while his business is ??????sustainable.??????

It was interesting to me that he had worked on an oil rig but didn????????t like the oil business extracting oil from public lands.

Listening to Mr. Metcalf talk about the ??????sustainable model?????? and his sustainable business I wondered how he could manufacture his products if the extracting businesses he seemed to disapprove of operating in Utah no longer supplied the mined iron ore, mined coal, and other mined ingredients used to produce the steel which he used to manufacture his ice crampons, Skies, ace picks, etc. from. I wondered how he thought he would deliver his manufactured items if oil was no longer extracted from the earth to power and lubricate the cars, planes, boats, and trains that deliver his products.

Maybe, I thought, its ok with him for extraction work to take place in other States or countries, just not in Utah. He seemed to almost have a proprietory interest in the public lands and wanted competition (i.e. extraction businesses)kept off public lands.

After his presentation ended professor Englehardt announced that a 15-minute question and answer period was to commence. I was able to ask the CEO of BDE what he thought of the movement afoot that was seeking to have the federal government turn over federal public lands to the state of Utah since there was no provision in the Constitution for the federal government to own vast tracts of lands inside our state.

Mr. Metcalf asserted that such an idea of Utah taking over the public lands was ideologically driven. He said that Utah????????s government was not equipped to build the vast bureaucracies necessary to manage the public lands in Utah, an assertion I personally found profoundly insulting toward Utahans and Utah????????s government. Especially considering the poor job the federal government does managing forests and preventing forest fires.

Metcalf asserted that Utah????????s government wouldn????????t have the revenue resources to manage the public lands. Metcalf made it abundantly clear that he opposed Utah capturing the public-land inside its borders the way eastern states had title to the land inside their borders. He wanted the land to stay in federal hands.

There wasn????????t a chance for me to respond to his assertions so I was left with my own thoughts on the subject. But I can share a few of my thoughts here.

In 1997 President Bill Clinton signed an executive order creating the Escalante Staircase National Monument which removed 1.7-million acres in Kane County, Utah from lands that can be mined. $1-Trillion of low-sulfur coal was thus locked up and Utah’s mining companies were prevented from mining that enormous energy resource that could be supplying inexpensive electric energy to Utah and other States.

Wouldn’t the development of Utah’s an energy resource have provided Utahans with jobs and American businesses a cost advantage in their operations as well as allowing citizens to cut their energy expenditures? But with the stroke of a pen, like a dictator Clinton had locked up more land in Southern Utah than is found in the entire state of Rhode Island.

If Utah pursued obtaining what is now federal territory inside our border, I thought, why shouldn????????t the federal government cede those public lands it still held to Utah????????s government and thus open the public lands to Utah????????s legislative decisions? That is fair so that Utah is on equal footing with other States under our Constitution. Then that coal in the Kaiparowits Plateau in Kane County could be mined to supply jobs, energy, and an economic boom in Utah. The royalties to Utah????????s government from the extraction of that coal alone could fund all the revenues necessary for Utah????????s bureaucracies to manage the lands within Utah????????s borders.

Mr. Metcalf may be jealous of how Utah????????s lands are used and may not like to see extraction of energy resources from our lands, but that doesn????????t make him right about the issue of whether the federal government should continue to own and control vast public lands within the State borders of Utah. Today the Federal government owns 70-percent of Utah! How much land is needed for Rock climber and hikers? Ski resorts are private companies and they don’t need any larger federal land ownership to survive and for that sport to prosper.

Utah is not a territory of the federal government, it is a sovereign State and as such those federal territories should have long ago been turned over to the State of Utah as Utah territory.

The Constitution makes it clear in Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 what lands are to remain in the possession of the federal government. That includes “ten miles square” to be ceeded by one of the states for a national Capitol and other “places purchased by the consent fo the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, aresnals, dock-yards, adn other needful buildings…”

There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the federal government to hold onto massive amounts of land as federal territory within the States when they are formed, despite what Mr. Metcalf believes may be the case. The Constitution is clear on this score.

Despite Metcalf’s misgivings about Utah governmental abilities to manage public lands, as I’ve wondered for decades, I still wonder why if the State of Utah can manage its State Parks couldn’t the Stae just as well manage the National Parks if they were turned over to Utah to become State parks?Mb

Having personally enjoyed Utah’s scenic wonders, climbed Utah mountains, enjoyed her private ski resorts, and marvelled all my life at Utah vistas I hope to see the next generation of humans from here and everywhere enjoy these same attributes of Utah’s geography. But trusting local State government and the people who inhabit Utah with their RIGHT to the territories within Utah under the Constitution is wise not dangerous. The locals in Utah will likely better govern their won beloved environment than bureaucrats far away in the corrupted government in Washington, D.C., won’t they?

Besides if public lands are ceded within Utah from the federal government to Utah’s State Government a more balanced a responsible plan without excessive costs and red tap could emerge for development of the energy resources in the State. Thus wouldn’t an economic boom be likely to result from development of the Kapairowitz Plateaus coal deposits and the Green River Formation’s oil reserves? Wouldn’t Utah and America see creation of new private sector jobs, expanded energy availability at a lowered price, clean coal to generate electricity, and lower priced gasoline for all Americans?


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