Following the news that President Donald Trump would be reducing the size of two national monuments, outdoor gear and clothing company Patagonia has decided to take action. On Monday, the landing page of the brand's website changed to a simple black screen that reads "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," the page goes on to read. If users keep scrolling, they will find a helpful outline of why these lands are so critical — and how to get involved in the fight to protect them.
Trump's proposed actions — the latest in a long string of threats to the environment since taking office in January — are not to be ignored. The AP has reported that he plans to reduce Bears Ears (which was established one year ago byu President Barack Obama) by 85 percent, to 315 square miles. Similarly, Grand Staircase-Escalante (created in 1996 by President Bill Clinton) will be shrunk from 3,000 to 1,569 square miles — nearly half.
Aside from concerns about what this land will be used for, Patagonia points out that it will likely have a hard impact on the economy, while also debunking the myth that this will boost jobs in the fossil fuel industry: "Outdoor recreation is among America’s largest industries, contributing 7.6 million jobs and $887 billion in annual consumer spending — far outpacing the jobs and spending generated by the oil and gas industry."
According to the California-based company's CEO, Rose Marcario, they will be pursuing legal action: "We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts."
Patagonia's efforts continue a hopeful trend of everyday citizens stepping up to defend the environment in 2017 (you might recall the year beginning with the National Park Service going rogue and tweeting important climate change data after Trump announced that its funding would be slashed). We hope this will continue in 2018.
To learn more about the battle to protect these public lands, and what organizations you can get involved with, visit Patagonia's website here.