Patagonia to sue Trump: 'The president stole your land'

Patagonia to sue Trump: 'The president stole your land'

Trump's decision scales back the 1.4-million-acre Bears Ears to about 220,000 acres, and the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument to about 1 million acres, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday. "I think it's shameful and appalling that they would blatantly lie in order to gain money in their coffers".

The message Patagonia blared across its website Monday was stark and clear: "The President Stole Your Land", it read. With more monuments potentially on the chopping block, what happens now with Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante will set the tone for the future of protecting land in the United States, and the power that a president can yield in privatizing them.

Other outdoor retailers are also publicly speaking out over Trump's actions. A coalition of Native American tribes also said it would sue the Trump Administration over the reduction of the Bears Ears Monument.

The declaration is the outdoor apparel company's opening salvo in a PR and legal battle against President Trump's shrinking of two Utah national monuments.

Presidents of both parties have set aside increasingly large parcels of land, raising the ire of Western Republican lawmakers anxious the protections will constrain energy development and animal grazing.

"We think it's exciting and it's going to encourage a lot of tourism and a lot more interest in people visiting our great state", he said.

Patagonia called the decision an "illegal move" by Trump, and said the company plans to sue the administration over the decision.

REI said in a statement Monday the company will "continue to pursue bipartisan support" to protect public lands. The company joined with REI and other outdoor recreation companies in leading a push to move the industry's lucrative trade show from Salt Lake City to Denver after two decades in Utah. The court cases are likely to drag on for years.

Among the clergy was Lorrie Gaffney, a United Church of Christ pastor from Salt Lake City who said the group spotted antlered deer, turkeys, even a mountain lion with its cubs just as they drove through the national monument. Grand Staircase holds one of the richest collections of fossils from the Late Cretaceous Period, which gives scientists and the public alike an unparalleled window into the dinosaurs that lived in these lands 10 million years ago.

The monument designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996 was almost 3,000 square miles (7,770 square kilometers). Former President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears as a national monument last December over the objections of Utah's Republican political leadership.

In a statement Monday, NARF said: "President Trump's action to revoke and replace the Bears Ears National Monument is not only an attack on the five sovereign nations with deep ties to the Bears Ears region, it is a complete violation of the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution". And more are expected - especially if Trump follows Zinke's recommendations to shrink two other monuments - Gold Butte in Nevada and Cascade Siskiyou in Oregon. Gold Butte protects almost 300,000 acres (469 sq. miles) of desert landscapes featuring rock art, sandstone towers and wildlife habitat for the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise and other species. The suit, which is likely to provoke a prolonged court battle, claims Trump can not legally revoke the land's monument status. Changes will centre on recent expansion of the site, which was first created by Clinton in 2000. He also calls for a new assessment of border-safety risks at a monument in southern New Mexico.

Zinke also has recommended allowing logging at a newly designated monument in ME and urged more grazing, hunting and fishing at two sites in New Mexico.

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