President Trump made an announcement on Monday that has one popular brand promising to sue. The announcement was regarding two national monuments in Utah: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante.
The announcement was that President Trump is going to be making significant reductions on the national monuments. In April, the president asked Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all of the large national monuments.
President Trump said that the large sections of land that previous presidents decided to declare as government land was an example of “federal overreach.” He said that he had spoken to several of his friends in Utah, who all agreed with him on the decision.
However, Patagonia, the popular outdoor retailer and brand, is vastly upset about the decision. On Tuesday, the brand posted harsh statements on their website regarding the situation.
They said, “The President Stole Your Land: In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.”
Zinke fought back against the brand, saying that their post was “shameful” and a “blatant lie.” He also noted the fact that each monument will still include a prominent portion of land.
To Zinke’s response, Patagonia spokeswoman Corley Kenna said, “Secretary Zinke’s definition of a special interest is someone who hasn’t flown him around on a private jet. We have been fighting for these lands for decades so that hunters, fishers, hikers and everyone else can be use them and help us protect them.”
On Wednesday, Patagonia announced their intention to sue the Trump Administration over the issue. Three other lawsuits were filed on Tuesday night from various conservation groups.
The entire debate has opened up a new question that has never been given proper evaluation: does the president have the legal authority to change monuments created by former presidents? The answer has never been settled, but perhaps this recent situation will pave a way for the discussion.
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