Patagonia Just Sued Trump for Shrinking Utah National Monument
"We've fought to protect these places since we were founded, and now we'll continue that fight in the courts," said president and CEO Rose Marcario.
Patagonia is following through with its promise to take legal action against the Trump administration after the president on Tuesday decided to shrink the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah by 850,000 acres.
The Ventura, Calif.-based outdoor apparel company is listed among seven other plaintiffs, including the Conservation Lands Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a suit filed against Donald Trump and four others. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is also listed among the defendants.
In an op-ed for CNN regarding the controversial decision, Zinke said that past presidents have "abused" their power to declare national monuments under the American Antiquities Act of 1906. It was President Obama who declared the land in question as the Bears Ears National Monument in December 2016.
In the suit, the defendants argue that "the President's action exceeded Congress' delegation of authority to him in the Antiquities Act of 1906." While past presidents, including Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, scaled back national monuments, the legality of their decisions were never challenged in court.
As mentioned on its website in a message posted hours after President Trump's Dec. 4 decision, the reversal would be the largest elimination of protected land to date. "In the 111-year history of the Antiquities Act, no president has ever reversed a prior president's monument by wholesale removal of protections for landmarks, structures and other objects of historic or scientific interest," reads the filing.
In his op-ed, Zinke countered that "the modified monument retains important objects of historic or scientific interest identified in the original designation, from areas with high concentrations of fossil resources, to geological wonders like the Grosvenor Arch, and important historic places, such as Dance Hall Rock." He stated that the national monument will be modified into two units that span 200,000 acres of federal land.
He added that Trump's decision curbed "federal overreach" and also asserted that "this action does not transfer one square inch of this land out of federal ownership."
The plaintiffs are requesting that the court "enjoin implementation of the President's unlawful action and restore the original configuration of the Bears Ears National Monument to ensure fulfillment of Congress' clear intent."
Said Patagonia president and CEO Rose Marcario in a statement, "We've fought to protect these places since we were founded, and now we'll continue that fight in the courts."
Patagonia is one many companies that has found itself on one side or the other of a political debate since Trump was elected. Time will tell if it has an impact on its customer base. So far, the comments on Patagonia's Instagram account have been filled with both support and anger over its position.