We would say that this news is crazy, but in a year that has been straight-up insanity, perhaps nothing is surprising anymore. Outdoor retailer Patagonia is suing the Trump administration for its decision to shrink the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 850,000 acres.
Patagonia, based out of Ventura, California, is one of seven plaintiffs in the lawsuit — others include the Conservation Lands Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation — that was filed Tuesday night. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is listed among the defendants.
On Tuesday, the outdoor company posted on Instagram a stark black-and-white message saying, “The President stole your land.” The post continued on to call out Trump’s “illegal actions,” describing Monday’s action as the largest elimination of protected land in American history.
Zinke took aim at Patagonia, saying their statement was “nefarious, false and a lie.”
In the suit, the defendants are arguing that “the President’s action exceeded Congress’ delegation of authority to him in the Antiquities Act of 1906.” Outdoor retailer REI also criticized Trump, posting on their website:
Today’s decision hurts the people who love these places. Americans enjoy our public lands in every part of the country, irrespective of politics. Not only have hikers, cyclists, climbers and hunters enjoyed national monuments, but economies have been built around them through outfitters, guides and retailers. The $887 billion outdoor recreation economy employs over 7.6 million people in good, sustainable jobs.
Various environmental and conservation groups — along with a coalition of Native American tribes — filed suits Monday to make sure Trump doesn’t have the final word. These court cases will likely continue for years.
In an op-ed Zinke wrote for CNN, he argued 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.”
“We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts,” said Patagonia president and CEO Rose Marcario.