Today, President Obama announced the designation of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in southern Nevada. In doing so, the president has boldly protected two places of utmost culture, recreation and conservation value for future generations.
The Bears Ears region has long faced aggressive attempts from oil and gas companies to develop it, looting of archeological and sacred cultural sites, and unmanaged off-road vehicle use. For two years, Patagonia has focused its support on the historic vision of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and grassroots allies at Friends of Cedar Mesa and Utah Diné Bikéyah. The designation of Bears Ears National Monument brings protection for Native American connections to the land, together with stewardship of the natural beauty and world-class recreation of the region.
Patagonia’s campaign kicked off with Defined by the Line, a film about climber and conservation activist Josh Ewing and his story of converting a passion for climbing into a passion for protecting Bears Ears. Building on the connection that many climbers have to the region, Patagonia expanded its efforts to include environmental grants to local groups, in-kind donations to local communities and regular use of company communication channels to amplify its strong outdoor business voice in Utah to call for protection. You can view Patagonia’s Bears Ears campaign page here.
“In protecting Bears Ears, the president recognizes the leadership and historic vision of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition representing five tribes, and the strong grassroots support from climbers and conservation groups,” said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “We are witnessing the power of community activism, and we thank President Obama for listening and taking action.”
“People have been scaling rocks in Bears Ears for 12,000 years,” said Access Fund Executive Director Brady Robinson. “We modern climbers are simply following the routes of those who cared for this sacred land for generations until outsiders brought new threats. Now, Bears Ears is being returned to those who treasure it so we can all enjoy this incredible place forever.”
Moving forward, Patagonia plans to stay involved in the development of the management plan for Bears Ears National Monument—climbers and all people who care about this place need to make their voices heard and stand up for respectful visitation and recreation in this sensitive landscape.
The President also designated Gold Butte as a national monument. Considered Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon, it is home to countless cultural, historic and natural wonders that make this area so unique and they are now preserved for future generations.
For decades Nevadans have been working to protect the nationally significant cultural, historic, and natural treasures in Gold Butte and today their hard work has paid off. “At Patagonia, we recognize the fundamental connection between protecting our great outdoors and our business and that is why Patagonia is thrilled that President Obama has designated Gold Butte as a national monument. Thank you President Obama, Senator Reid, and Representative Titus for all you have done to protect Gold Butte,” said Ron Hunter, Patagonia Environmental Activism Manager in Reno, Nevada.
Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is based in Ventura, California. A certified B-Corporation, Patagonia’s mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. The company is recognized internationally for its commitment to authentic product quality and environmental activism, contributing almost $80 million in grants and in-kind donations to date.