VENTURA, Calif. — The Trump administration’s unprecedented reversal of protections for Bears Ears National Monument is an egregious violation of our shared American values. It is an affront to all of us who enjoy and benefit from the preservation of our nation’s most treasured publicly owned landscapes, and to the Native American communities for whom the land is sacred.
Moreover, it’s unlawful. A U.S. president has no authority to remove national monument protection under the Antiquities Act and that is why we, along with our conservation partners, are suing to challenge the President’s authority under the Antiquities Act to remove Bears Ears’ national monument protections.
For us, this is also a moral issue at the center of our company’s longstanding environmental commitments. The Trump administration, as stewards of America’s federal public lands for current and future generations, has an obligation to protect pristine wild places like Bears Ears that have such unique and irreplaceable cultural, ecological and recreational value. It’s appalling that members of the Trump administration have spent almost zero time getting to know Native American leaders and Utah communities near Bears Ears before deciding to remove National Monument status and the protections it provides.
Protecting Bears Ears is also an economic imperative for our country. Patagonia is part of a thriving outdoor recreation economy that employs 6.1 million Americans, which means our industry supports more than twice as many U.S. jobs than oil and natural gas. Areas in the West that contain protected federal lands grow faster than those without—including in Utah, where the creation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996 led to a 38 percent increase in jobs over two decades in the two surrounding counties. Removing protections for Bears Ears and other vital federal lands severely threatens the entire outdoor industry and our ability to sustain the enormous and growing economy driven by outdoor recreation.
Patagonia, along with millions of Americans who believe in the value of protected public lands, will continue to fight for the protection of Bears Ears National Monument and other treasured wild places for the economic and intrinsic benefit of our country and its citizens.
Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an outdoor company based in Ventura, California. A certified B Corp, 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 over $82 million to date in grants and in-kind donations to date.