Patagonia Targets Trump in Fight for Public Lands (Video)

Eric Ortiz
Eric Ortiz is a journalist and innovator with two decades in digital media, Ortiz founded the mobile app startup Evrybit, a live storytelling and reporting tool, as a 2014 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at…
Eric Ortiz

Donald Trump loves the environment—as long as he can make a buck off it.

On Monday, the president announced his plans to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. The move would remove federal protections on 2 million acres, "the first step to opening up these lands to more development and agriculture," Vox reports.

Patagonia wasted no time in slamming Trump. The California-based outdoors company modified the home page of its website with this message: "The President Stole Your Land."

Visitors to the site could learn more about Trump's plan and take action by sending a tweet to let the administration know "they don't have the authority to take these lands away from you."

Yvon Chouinard founded Patagonia in 1973 on eco-conscious and anti-corporate ideals, and the activist company has been focused on protecting the earth from day one. Its latest action against Trump aligns with its mission: "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."

The White House released a statement to explain its rationale for removing the federal protections on the national monuments.

"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," Trump said in the statement, titled "President Donald J. Trump Stands with Local Communities against Government Overreach on Land Management."

Vox adds:

Trump, in his announcement about the changes, claimed they would benefit Native Americans. "We’ve seen how this tragic [federal] overreach has prevented many Native Americans from having a voice on their sacred lands, where they practice their most important ancestral and religious traditions," Trump said. Never mind the fact that the tribes were the ones that had, for years, been asking the Obama administration for the monument protections.

In remarks at the Utah Capitol on Monday, Trump said of the decision, "I don't think it's controversial. I think it's sensible."

The courts will decide whether Trump has the legal authority to reduce the size of the monuments. Five American Indian tribes are suing the president in one lawsuit, and 10 environmental groups have filed a separate suit.

Watch the video above to learn why Patagonia is fighting for public lands.

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