On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order drastically reducing the size of two national monuments in Utah. In response, one prominent outdoor retailer is ready to fight back.
“Americans have overwhelmingly spoken out against the Trump Administration’s unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said a press release. “The Administration’s unlawful actions betray our shared responsibility to protect iconic places for future generations and represent the largest elimination of protected land in American history. We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts.”
Soon after the decision was made, Patagonia's website directed users to a new splash page, sending a clear message in response to the decision:
This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.
— Patagonia (@patagonia) December 4, 2017
“In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments,” reads the page. “This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.”
The Patagonia site also offered information and maps on the decision, outlining why it takes issue with it:
Trump's decision to undo a national monument created by former President Barack Obama is a controversial one. Using the power vested in the executive branch by the Antiquities Act of 1906, presidents have acted 151 times to protect federal lands — but never has a president moved to free up those lands.
Critics of the president's plan to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments have argued the president lacks the authority to do so, and that once a president has moved to protect land under the Antiquities Act, it cannot be undone.
Patagonia was joined by other outdoor companies in its protest of the action, with REI calling it a decision that “undermines the integrity of the Antiquities Act.” REI's statement also harshly condemned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke:
Interior Secretary Zinke once said, “Part of being a good steward [of public lands] is being a good neighbor and listening to the American people who we represent.” We believe this applies to all Americans, not a special few. The people of the United States share equally in the ownership of our national public lands. This connection and sense of common ownership is something that sets this country apart from the rest of the world.
Despite receiving comments from 2.8 million Americans, with 99 percent in favor of protecting these lands, the Department of Interior and the Trump administration moved to shrink them.