Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia declared war Monday against President Trump’s decision to shrink federally protected lands in Utah by about 2 million acres. Trump described the proclamations as correcting federal overreach, but some have taken exception to the historic reversal, including Yvon Chouinard, founder and CEO of Patagonia, who claims he is going to sue Trump.
It seems the only thing this administration understands is lawsuits. 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. This government is evil and I’m not going to sit back and let evil win.
Patagonia’s website denounced Trump’s decision by mid-afternoon on Monday, greeting users with “The President Stole Your Land” in bold. The message continued,
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.
Further down the page, Patagonia provided a graphic depicting the amount of land now at risk of “industrialization” and development in Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Bear Ears is losing about 80 percent of its area while the Grand Staircase-Escalante is losing around 45 percent, which Patagonia says amounts to “an area bigger than Yosemite National Park.”
According to CNN, this move by Trump opens up Utah’s land for frackers and miners who were shut out by the Obama and Clinton administration designating these monuments. Bear Ears, which Patagonia describes as having “the highest denisty of cultural resources in the country,” is known for its Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings from 3,500 years ago and an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites.
The bottom of the Patagonia webpage suggests 15 different groups “fighting to protect public lands.” The campaign against Trump’s land grab comes right as holiday shoppers are looking for gifts on Patagonia, so its no surprise that the ‘Take Action Now’ button is currently out of service due a traffic overload.
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