Patagonia, an outdoor and sustainable living company known for its history of strong fights against environmental inequality, has spoken out against Utah’s attempt to reverse President Obama’s designation of a national monument.
The Bears Ears National Monument will cover 1.35 million acres in southern Utah, including ancestral land that is pertinent to hundreds of Native American tribes. This grant of federal land was met with dismay by several Republicans including Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) who called it a federal land grab and urged the President-elect, Donald Trump, to reverse the order under the Antiquities Act of 1907.
Patagonia is doing everything in their power to urge lawmakers to give up the resistance and allow the tribes to keep the federal land. They have even threatened to pull out of the Utah sponsored Outdoor Retail Show that brings in nearly $40 million biannually. Rose Marcarlo told the Huffington Post that:
“We’re going to fight with everything that we have. What we have is our economic power and the ability to withdraw from it if we need to.”
Patagonia isn’t alone in this fight as Peter Metcalf, chief executive of Black Diamond Equipment, wrote in an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune, urging the show to move states. Metcalf wrote:
“Gov. Gary Herbert and Utah’s D.C. delegation are leading a national all-out assault on the sanctity of Utah and the country’s public lands. This agenda is antithetical to our industry, let alone the majority of our citizens regardless of party affiliation.”
No President in history has completely revoked a National Monument Proclamation, and we aren’t even sure that Trump could do that if he wanted to. The temper tantrum from Reyes might be just that, a temper tantrum. The Congressional Research Service stated:
“No president has ever abolished or revoked a national monument proclamation, so the existence or scope of any such authority has not been tested in courts. However, some legal analyses since at least the 1930s have concluded that the Antiquities Act, by its terms, does not authorize the president to repeal proclamations, and that the president also lacks implied authority to do so.”
Keep up the good fight Patagonia! We are behind you!
Featured image via Hatch Magazine.