Popular outdoor clothing brand Patagonia has announced plans to sue the Trump administration over its decision to launch the largest rollback of federal land protection in America’s history.
President Donald Trump has announced he will overhaul the legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama and reduce the size of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, a vast region of red rock canyons, by 85 per cent. This means it will be shrunk from around 1.5 million acres to some 228,000 acres.
During an appearance at Utah’s state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, the president also said he would halve the size of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante to one million acres.
Patagonia, an American company which sells sustainable outdoor clothing, said the billionaire property developer’s decision to shrink the two Utah national monuments was “illegal” and was the “largest elimination of protected land in American history”.
“The President Stole Your Land,” read a message emblazoned across Patagonia’s website.
President Trump said his decision was made to “reverse federal overreach and restore the rights of this land to your citizens.”
He said: “The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best, and you know the best how to take care of your land. You know how to protect it. And you know best how to conserve this land for many, many generations to come”.
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The world leader largely overlooked the tribe’s opposition to the move and instead sought to pose the battle as one between local officials and Washington bureaucrats – the latter of which he claimed “don’t care for your land like you do.”
He claimed Mr Obama emboldened “faraway bureaucrats at the expense of the people who actually live here, work here, and make this place their home”.
Five tribes that pushed for the creation of the Bears Ears monument and now manage it filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration. They are the Navajo, Hopi, Pueblo of Zuni, Ute Mountain and Ute Indians who deem Bears Ears to be sacred.
“We will be fighting back immediately. All five tribes will be standing together united to defend Bears Ears,” said Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund.
“The Bears Ears Monument is of critical importance, not only to the Navajo Nation but to many tribes in the region,” Navajo Nation President Russell…