Donald Trump made the mind-boggling decision on Monday to all but dismantle two national monuments in Utah, slashing Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante by more than 1.1 million acres and more than 800,000 acres, respectively.
As The Washington Post pointed out, Trump’s move represents the “largest reduction of public lands protection in U.S. history.”
Almost instantly, the administration was hit with a lawsuit from outdoor retailer Patagonia, which called Trump’s decision on Monday an “unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments.”
In a Twitter post and on the company website, Patagonia took direct aim at Trump’s decision, saying it’s an “illegal move” and that Trump “stole your land.”
— Patagonia (@patagonia) December 4, 2017
In a statement, according to AdAge, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario blasted Trump: “Americans have overwhelmingly spoken out against the Trump Administration’s unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments.”
Marcario added: “We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts.”
According to the Telegraph, five tribes that initially advocated for the monuments will also take legal action against the Trump administration. “They include the Navajo, Hopi, Pueblo of Zuni, Ute Mountain and Ute Indians who consider Bears Ears sacred,” the reported noted.
Donald Trump spent more than a year on the campaign trail promising his supporters that he would go to Washington, D.C. and drain the swamp, but his move to attack public land protections on Monday is just the latest proof that he never intended on keeping that promise.
Instead, his move today represents nothing but a wet kiss to some of the very same special interest groups that helped elect him president last year. If it stands, it will pave the way for this cherished land to be used for mining, oil drilling, and other pet projects of the energy industry.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.