Patagonia Makes Good on Promise to Sue Trump Over Public Lands
“We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight."
Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia joined a “broad coalition” of groups in filing a lawsuit Wednesday against the Trump administration over the largest reduction of public lands in US history, according to ABC News.
Earlier in the week, President Donald Trump visited Utah to announce the reduction of two national monuments by millions of acres — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.
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The brand made good on its promise Wednesday, according to ABC News.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Washington, D.C., and argues that only Congress, not the president, has the authority to reduce or eliminate monuments.
The suit aims to "declare unlawful President Trump's December 4, 2017 proclamation that revoked the Bear Ears National Monument and replaced it with two new 'units," according to ABC.
The Trump administration dismissed the lawsuit as ungrounded.
"The argument that somehow President Trump stole land is nefarious, false and a lie," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on a call with reporters Tuesday, according to ABC.
Patagonia is joined by seven other groups listed as plaintiffs on the case, including Native American groups with cultural ties to the monuments, outdoor retail companies with a financial stake in the outcome, and environmental groups, according to the complaint.
"The Administration’s unlawful actions betray our shared responsibility to protect iconic places for future generations and represent the largest elimination of protected land in American history,” Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement.
“We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts,” she added.
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The lawsuit marks the first time that a decision to shrink public lands is being challenged in the courts. Whatever the outcome, it has the potential to reshape how public lands are established, managed, and even perceived, according to National Geographic.
Patagonia has escalated its environmental activism in recent years as problems such as climate change, ocean acidification, and environmental degradation undermine the company’s guiding vision.
“For us at Patagonia, a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet,” the company’s mission statement reads.
This latest lawsuit shows that the company is willing to fight for its beliefs.
As Patagonia's founder, Yvon Choinard, told CNN on Monday:
"I think the only thing this administration understands is lawsuits.”