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12/07/2017

Patagonia joins lawsuit to block Trump's national monuments order

Patagonia has never backed down from speaking up for what it believes, however controversial it may be.

The outdoor apparel retailer joined a broad coalition that is suing to strike down what it termed "the President's extreme overreach of authority in revoking the Bears Ears National Monument." The plaintiffs — Patagonia Works, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Utah Diné Bikéyah, Friends of Cedar Mesa, Archaeology Southwest, Conservation Lands Foundation, Access Fund, and the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology — filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7.

The lawsuit attempts to "declare unlawful President Trump's December 4, 2017 proclamation that revoked the Bear Ears National Monument and replaced it with two new 'units.'" It claims the act exceeds a president's authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 and wants the original configuration of the monument restored.

"President Trump's proclamation is the first time any president has attempted to abolish a monument established by a previous president and amounts to the largest elimination of protected areas in American history," the coalition stated. "By revoking national monument status for 85% of the area protected by the Bears Ears National Monument, President Trump has removed legal protections for many well-known and widely-revered historic, scientific, and cultural areas."

"I think the only thing this administration understands is lawsuits," Patagonia's legendary founder and ardent environmentalist Yvon Choinard told CNN.

Patagonia replaced the imagery on its homepage with a dramatic message, "The President Stole Your Land."

“In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments," the message reads. "This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.” The home page has a “Take Action Now” button.

The Patagonia post attracted the attention of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who called it "nefarious, false and a lie."

As of Thursday morning, Patagonia had not taken down the pointed message.

“We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts," stated Rose Marcario, president and CEO of Patagonia, who wrote a column for Time explaining why the company had joined the lawsuit.

The lawsuit's defendants include Trump, Zinke, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management Brian Steed, and Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Tony Tooke.