The president stole your land.
That’s the stark, unequivocal, monochrome message writ large on the Patagonia homepage Monday, following Trump’s announcement that the government aims to dramatically cut back two national monuments.
In what the outdoor clothing company slams as “the largest elimination of protected land in American history,” Trump announced plans to scale back Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante by some 80 percent and 45 percent, respectively — leaving the land open to drilling and hunting.
The former takes the biggest hit; it will now be just 220,000 acres, down from 1.35 million. It was designated a national monument in the dying days of the Obama administration less than a year ago. Bill Clinton designated Grand Staircase in 1996.
Trump’s decision has proven controversial. While some praised him for bringing the land back into public use, arguing that Obama overreached with his 2016 decision, many have slammed Monday’s news. Environmentalists and Native American rights groups have expressed severe dismay.
And Patagonia is not taking it lying down. It’s launching one of several lawsuits, aiming to protect Bears Ears National Monument specifically. The company is working with conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa and grassroots Native American organization Utah Diné Bikéyah, among others, on the action.
An utterly depressing graphic on Patagonia’s site visualizes the extent of the issue, and insists “an area bigger than Yosemite National Park is now at risk of industrialization” at Grand Staircase.
“Americans have overwhelmingly spoken out against the Trump Administration’s unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments,” Rose Marcario, president and CEO of Patagonia said.
“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.”
Patagonia has an almost 30 year history of fighting to protect public lands. Earlier this year, the company teamed up with Google to launch an immersive interactive film aiming to raise awareness of the beauty and vulnerability of Bears Ears.
The site’s “take action” page allows concerned members of the public to sign up for more information…