Patagonia Is Firing Right At The President For Reducing National Monuments

First light over Cedar Mesa in southeast Utah Bears Ears National Monument

The Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and seven other groups alleged that the president overstepped his authority in scaling back the 1.4-million-acre Bears Ears to about 220,000 acres, and the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument to about 1 million acres. The decision comes after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted recommendations to the White House in August after his four-month long review of 27 national monuments. The plans would break Bears Ears into two national monuments and Grand Staircase-Escalante into three separate monuments. The suit, which is likely to provoke a prolonged court battle, claims Trump can not legally revoke the land's monument status.

The monument designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996 was almost 3,000 square miles (7,770 square kilometers). Former President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears as a national monument last December over the objections of Utah's Republican political leadership. The decision and its fallout may set a new standard for how federal public land and conservation issues are handled across the country.

Gene Karpinski, the head of the League of Conservation Voters, called the move "the largest attack on parks and public lands in our nation's history".

Oil and natural gas companies have always been eyeing the land now stripped of federal protections.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, created by Bill Clinton in 1996, will be downsized from 1.9 million acres to 1 million acres.

Valley of the Gods in Bears Ears National Monument, Utah, May 11, 2017.

"Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington", President Trump said. "And guess what? They're wrong".

In a statement Monday, NARF said: "President Trump's action to revoke and replace the Bears Ears National Monument is not only an attack on the five sovereign nations with deep ties to the Bears Ears region, it is a complete violation of the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution".

Hatch, who introduced President Trump, said that when "you talk, this president listens" and that President Trump promised to help him with "federal overreach".

For Director of Environmental Activism for Patagonia Hans Cole, Trump's move not only "could jeopardize public access, but also jeopardize the value inherent in the landscape".

Environmental and tribal groups plan to sue, saying the designations are needed to protect important archaeological and cultural resources, especially the more than 1.3 million-acre (2,030-square-mile) Bears Ears site featuring thousands of Native American artifacts, including ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.

The companies, as well as the entire outdoor recreation industry, are allied with Indian tribes, for whom some of the lands are sacred, as well as with conservationists.

Environmentalists and Native American tribes said that they would challenge Mr Trump in court.

Three lawsuits already had been filed involving Utah's monuments. The company changed its home page Monday in protest of the decision. It filed the suit on behalf of several organizations. More lawsuits are expected.

Native American leaders say President Donald Trump's move to drastically shrink a Utah national monument is the president's second insult to native people in a week and an offense that tribes will unite to fight.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 gives presidents broad discretion to protect "historic landmarks ... and other objects of historic or scientific interest", without any input from U.S. Congress.

Previous presidents have made small reductions to monument boundaries, but never until Monday had one used the Antiquities Act to so dramatically shrink them. Then, the next president could expand the national monument again-and so on. "And if they think we're not prepared to protect it, they're kidding themselves", he said later.

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