Patagonia: "The President Stole Your Land"
On Monday, Patagonia posted a message on its social media and website saying "The President Stole Your Land." It was captioned by the company's CEO and President who said it will fight Trump's executive order in court.
In fine print, the message continues, "In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history."
Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario captioned the photo, "We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts."
The brand's message comes in response to an order issued by President Trump on Monday for the federal government to reduce 2 million acres of territory protected as national monuments and declassify them so that they are no longer public lands, the largest single removal of protection in the country's history.
The order specifically calls to remove 800,000 acres from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, almost half of its total area. 85 percent, or 1.1 million acres are slated to be removed from Bears Ears National Monument, also in Utah.
Patagonia has been outspoken against the Trump Administration's land mongering, holding strong to its position that public lands should be preserved for outdoor recreation. The company was instrumental in having the lucrative Outdoor Retailer trade show moved from Utah to Colorado after Utah's state politicians sided with the Trump Administration over the land reclamation.
The outdoor industry stands to lose a lot with the removal. The industry creates 7.6 million jobs and $887 billion in annual consumer spending. Patagonia provides the statistics that "71 percent of climbers, 70 percent of hunters and 43 percent of paddlers in America" do so on public lands.
Patagonia's website explains that the company helped establish the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah 30 years ago. As part of its environmental activism, it also helped establish protection for the Basin and Range and Gold Butte National Monuments in Nevada.
Patagonia explains, "Climbers, hikers, hunters and anglers all agree that public lands are a critical part of our national heritage and these lands belong not just to us, but to future generations."
Patagonia's website notes that, even prior to the new order, only 10 percent of US public lands were protected, while 90% were already open for oil and gas leasing and development.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard told CNN that he is going to sue the president. Chouinard said "I think it’s a shame that only 4% of American lands are national parks. Costa Rica’s got 10%. Chile will now have way more parks than we have. We need more, not less."
Five Native American tribes have joined in a lawsuit arguing Trump illegally removed protections from their sacred lands. Additionally, Earthjustice has filed a separate environmentally focused lawsuit which unites claims made by the Sierra Club, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). That lawsuit is against President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Bureau of Land Management Director Brian Steed.
While no answers have been filed yet, the federal government will no doubt argue that Trump was authorized under the Antiquities Act to reduce the size of protected land to the "smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected."
In the meantime, Patagonia is urging its customers to take action. It has linked to uploadable content users can copy and paste in their Twitter feeds calling the Bears Ears reduction "the largest elimination of protected land in American history."
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