Why Patagonia Will Sue President Trump Over Utah National Monuments
Outdoor gear company Patagonia took aim at President Donald Trump Monday, devoting their entire homepage to a protest.
“The president stole your land,” reads the message posted on the Patagonia homepage, calling the president's decision “illegal.”
The message comes after Trump announced Monday that he would shrink the size of two national monuments in Utah by approximately 2 million combined acres. Fiery debate has ensued across the country between those who argue that the monuments were an overstep of federal power in the first place and those who say the monuments protected sacred Native American land from mining or development.
Patagonia encouraged shoppers to take action by supporting one of the environmental or Native American groups challenging Trump's decision or to tweet with the hashtag #MonumentalMistake.
REI devoted a smaller part of its homepage to the issue with a message reading: “Despite the loss of millions of acres of protected lands this week, REI will continue to advocate for the places we all love.”
The California-based Patagonia plans to sue the president, according to both its founder, Yvon Chouinard, and the CEO Rose Marcario: “We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts,” Marcario said in a statement Monday.
Several lawsuits are already in the works, including one from a coalition of five Native American tribes and another from a coalition of 10 environmental groups.
The legality of Trump’s decision and of the ensuing lawsuits remains murky, as they center on the rarely used Antiquities Act signed into law by former President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.
The laws states that once a president designates a piece of land a national monument, it cannot be changed. The law also states, however, that presidents should only choose the smallest amount of land possible, NPR reported. Supporters of Trump’s decision have argued that when President Obama designated 1.35 million acres to Bears Ears, he overstepped his mandate.
“Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong,” Trump said when he announced his decision Monday.