President Trump on Monday announced a decision to rework the boundaries of two national monuments that has several groups, including Patagonia, up in arms and threatening legal action.
The announcement impacts the Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah by shrinking their respective boundary lines to create several smaller designated areas.
It is expected Patagonia, along with others, will be filing lawsuits in response to the decision. In Patagonia’s case, the Ventura, Calif.-based company would be going to the courts specifically on Bears Ears.
“The Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it’s time we ended this abusive practice,” the President said in a statement on the decision.
The announcement also came with news that work on new land management policies would begin that would pave the way for activities, such as grazing or commercial fishing, to occur on federal lands.
“Americans have overwhelmingly spoken out against the Trump administration’s unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments,” Patagonia president and chief executive officer Rose Marcario said in a statement Monday. “The administration’s unlawful actions betray our shared responsibility to protect iconic places for future generations and represents 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.”
The company’s home page now greets visitors with the message “The President Stole Your Land” and characterized the decision as illegal.
REI said it would “continue bipartisan support to protect public lands” and that Monday’s decision “hurts the people who love these places” before stating a reminder of the outdoor recreation industry’s clout: $887 billion with a collective workforce of 7.6 million jobs.
Patagonia, along with The North Face and REI among other outdoor brands, took a stand against the President’s executive order in April. President Trump at the time signed an order that prompted the Interior Department’s review of lands receiving designations from 1996 and ongoing and totaling more than 100,000 acres on the basis of a number of factors, including the availability of federal resources to maintain the land and whether the lands were indeed granted properly based on how the act defines such designations.
Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law in 1906, which placed power in the hands of the President to designate federal lands national monuments.