Ventura, California-based Patagonia didn’t mince words in its reaction to Donald Trump’s announcement the government would reduce the size of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante, two large parks located in Utah. Visitors to patagonia.com were greeted with a message that read in stark white letters against a black background “The president stole your land.”
Underneath, additional copy read, “In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.” Along with the messages, Patagonia provides steps for visitors to take action against the move.
The changes proposed by the government would cut Bears Ears National Monument protection by 1.1 million acres or 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante would be reduced by more than 800,00 acres or 46 percent.
According to the Washington Post, a coalition of ten conservation groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Grand Canyon Trust, already have filed a lawsuit against Trump along with interior secretary Ryan Zinke and bureau of land management director Brian Steed through the nonprofit environmental law organization Earthjustice. The suit claims Trump cannot legally revoke the land’s monument status.
Push back also came from a coalition of five tribes, Hopi, Navajo Nation, Pueblo of Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Ute Indian, for whom some of the lands are viewed as sacred.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard told CNN he too plans to sue the president.
“I’m going to sue him,” Chouinard said. “It seems the only thing this administration understands is lawsuits. I think it’s a shame that only 4% of American lands are national parks. Costa Rica’s got 10%. Chile will now have way more parks than we have. We need more, not less. This government is evil and I’m not going to sit back and let evil win.”
The move was viewed as a favor returned to fervent Trump supporter Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch, who has argued the amount of protected land in his home state is too vast and limits the state’s potential for economic growth.