Outdoor clothing company Patagonia just changed its home page to a message that reads “The President Stole Your Land.”
Patagonia is boldly speaking out against Trump’s recent decision to greatly reduce the size of two national monuments — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase. Trump is reducing the size of Bears Ears by 85 percent, according to the New York Times, and Great Staircase by roughly half. The decision was applauded by Utah politicians who said the monuments were violations of the Antiquities Act.
However, Native American and environmental groups say the decision, which would open up previously federally protected land to oil drilling and logging, would cause lasting damage to precious natural resources.
Patagonia, for its part, is siding with the latter, taking pride in helping the Obama administration establish Bears Ears in 2016, and showing support with Native American tribes whose land and heritage would be severely impacted by Trump’s decision.
“Climbers, hikers, hunters and anglers all agree that public lands are a critical part of our national heritage and these lands belong not just to us, but to future generations,” Patagonia wrote on its website.
Patagonia also pointed out that during the Department of the Interior’s public comment hearing, 98 percent of the nearly 3 million comments were in favor of preserving Bears Ears and Grand Staircase. The company also cited a Field and Stream article that found 70 percent of federal land give to states is later sold to private interests.
The outdoor clothing company is asking supporters to take action by donating to various environmental preservation groups fighting the decision, like the Wild Salmon Center, Friends of Cedar Mesa, the Grand Canyon Trust, the Conservation Lands Foundation, and the Alaska Wilderness League.
Native American tribes like the Navajo Nation, whose land lies just south of the Bears Ears monument, have pledged to fight the Trump administration’s decision in court.
“We will stand and fight all the way,” Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, told the New York Times.
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.