Четверг, 14 Декабря, 2017

Patagonia, REI Slam Trump for Downsizing National Monument Protected Lands

Pat Bagley Pat Bagley
Freda Brock | 07 Декабря, 2017, 23:03

Sporting goods retailer Patagonia and a coalition of conservationists have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for his decision to shrink two Utah national monuments. In total, five national monuments will see their size reduced, for a total rollback of 1.2 million acres that previously were under the federal government's protection.

Other companies also expressed their support for Bears Ears National Monument, including The North Face, which pledged to donate $100,000 to create an educational center at Bears Ears.

Environmental groups and Native American tribes wasted no time in filing lawsuits to stop the Trump administration's vast cuts to two Utah national monuments.

"In the past century, tribal leaders have witnessed looting of grave sites, irreparable harm to petroglyphs by vandalism, sacred places torn up by indiscriminate off-road-vehicle use, and damage to a unique, intact landscape".

Nevertheless, Patagonia is one organization that will not let this reversal move forward without a fight. Nearly as soon as the reduction was announced, a deluge of lawsuits were filed on behalf of many involved in that fight - including one by a coalition of 10 conservation groups, and one by a coalition of five Native American Tribes.

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Joining Earthjustice are Utah-based nonprofits like the Friends of Cedar Mesa and the Grand Canyon Trust.

Before the president had even finished his remarks on Monday, environmental and conservation groups were already labeling Trump's decision "illegal".

Despite Trump's plans for the monuments, REI said it will continue to work with elected officials and outdoor industry members to protect the accessibility of these public lands. In protesting Utah politicians' alignment with the Trump White House, the company withdrew from a lucrative outdoor clothing trade show that was an regular event in Salt Lake City for over 20 years.

The reasoning behind the move is to designate as protected "the smallest area compatible with the protection of the objects of scientific or historic interest", and the proclamation also opens the newly public lands to "disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing; and location, entry, and patent under the mining laws". The company also expressed the potential damage the move could do to the outdoor recreation economy, which now contributes a whopping 7.6 million jobs and $887 billion in annual consumer spending, not to mention the public's access to public lands.

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