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Patagonia to sue President Trump to protect public lands

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Anyone paying a visit to Patagonia's website will be greeted with a chilling message: 'The President Stole Your Land.' The lifestyle brand has threaten to take legal action against President Donald Trump and his adminstration after plans to drastically reduce the size of two national monuments in the United States were announced.

Patagonia, together with other groups fighting to protect public lands in the United States, plans to sue President Trump over the "illegal move." On Monday, Trump's administration announced that the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah will be decreased by 85 percent, in addition to reducing The Grand Staircase National Monument in Nevada by 50 percent. "This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history," said Patagonia in a statement. Both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante sit on millions of arces of land.

Patagonia to take a stand against President Trump to protect public lands

The US President stated that the Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power to hold millions of acres of land and water, and that it is time to end "this abusive practice" by giving the land back to the people. In addition to vastly cutting down the size of the national monument, Trump's administration also aims to introduce new land management policies which would lead the way for commercial fishing and grazing to take place on federal lands.

Following the announcement a number of environmental campaigners and brands came together to stand against Trump Administration's decision. "Americans have overwhelmingly spoken out against the Trump administration’s unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments," said Patagonia president and chief executive officer Rose Marcario in a statement. "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."

Patagonia has fought to protect public lands for close to 30 years, and is "proud" to have played a role in the establishment of several national monuments, including Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Basin and Range and Gold Butte National Monuments in Nevada. The US outdoor company argued that downsizing any national monument "could have a devastating impact on local economies and the multi billion-dollar outdoor recreation economy that America’s public lands and waterways support," while underlining the fact that outdoor recreation is among America's largest industries, contributing 887 billion US dollars in annual spend with a collective workforce of 7.6 million jobs - "far outpacing the jobs and spending generated by the oil and gas industry."

The US outdoor brand, together with The North Face and other outdoor labels, previously stood against an executive order from President Trump in April. At the time Trump signed an order which led to the Interior Department’s review of lands receiving designations from 1996 and onwards, which totalled more than 100,000 arces on the basis of a number of factor, including the lands were granted federal resources to maintain them and how the act defines such designations.

Photo: Patagonia, website

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