DENVER (CBS4) – With nearly a trillion dollars of economic impact, outdoor brands are teaming up with ski areas to make a unified stand to protect the planet.

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“The level of the problem has escalated so much it needed some collaboration between the three biggest trade associations in the sector,” said Chris Steinkamp.

CBS4’s Jeff Todd interviews Chris Steinkamp. (credit: CBS)

For more than a decade, Steinkamp led the advocacy group Protect Our Winters. Now he’s credited with bringing together trade organizations to make a unified voice.

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“It’s a partnership between the ski resorts, the outdoor industry and the snow sports industry, all focused on changing climate change. It’s an $887 billion industry, so with this issue economic strength means impact,” Steinkamp said.

Wednesday the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership was announced. It melds the Outdoor Industry Association, Snowsports Industries America and the National Ski Areas Association with a single voice.

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“At first the conversation was, ‘hey look, climate change is an issue, it’s something we all care about. Let’s find a way together on this because there’s strength in numbers. What do we all believe in? What are our approaches and similarities between that and combine our efforts?’ We want to make sure we all speak the same language,” said Steinkamp.

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The hope is that with enough money at stake the combined forces can have even more influence on politicians in Washington and in state government.

“We realized we have an impact. We have an economic impact, and we need to use it,” said Steinkamp. “I think we have a responsibility to leave the environment better than we left it.“

Jeff Todd

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