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Bears Ears Slashed, Patagonia Sues Trump Administration

Patagonia is part of a multi-industry coalition that sued the Trump administration on Wednesday to block the dismantling of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Find out more about Bears Ears and the reduction in size here.

Patagonia and the following groups filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C.: Friends of Cedar Mesa, Conservation Lands Foundation, Access Fund, Archaeology Southwest, Society for Vertebrate Paleontology, Utah Diné Bikéyah, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation—all plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

This is why we're suing President Trump. (Link in Our Profile)

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“The President’s proclamation is contrary to law, ignores overwhelming public support for the original monument designation, and dishonors Native American heritage and culture,” Patagonia said in a statement.

In 1906, the Antiquities Act was passed into law and since then 16 presidents have used it to designate 157 national monuments. The act protects “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.”

Patagonia claims the federal government’s action overreaches the powers granted by Antiquities Act and is illegal.

“By eliminating so much of Bears Ears National Monument, the President is putting over a million acres of land at risk for permanent destruction, and we aren’t going to just stand by,” said Rose Marcario, president and CEO of Patagonia.

“Protecting public lands is a core tenet of our mission and vitally important to our industry, and we feel we need to do everything in our power to protect this special place.”

While the Antiquities Act gives the President authority to create national monuments, it does not grant power to undo national monument designations. Only Congress has the right to undo a designation.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke criticized Patagonia on Fox & Friends: “There is not one square inch that leaves the federal estate. We do restore national forests, to a national forest, we restore wilderness. We open up our public land to the public for greater access.

“We need to actively manage. I’ve always said that public use is important. Our lands are for the benefit and enjoyment of the people, and not special interest groups.”

The outcome of this Bears Ears battle will likely determine the power a president has to undo monument designations, which could have dire consequences on other areas.

Visit the Access Fund here to help defend public lands.