Trump removes protection for swaths of Utah parks

Source: CelebCafe

Patagonia also replaced its usual homepage with a stark message, “The President Stole Your Land”.

Conservation groups called it the largest elimination of protected land in American history.

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”. “He’s ignoring the fact that we are sovereigns, we are governments, and expect to be engaged on a nation-to-nation basis”, said Branch in an interview with MSNBC.

Andrew Black, a Presbyterian pastor and director of community relations, education, and veterans outreach for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, organized a trip last month for almost 30 Christian and Jewish clergy members to meet with tribal leaders at Bears Ears. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had raised almost $124,000 from 1,700 people. We need more, not less. “Together, let’s build something real”.

Trump said Monday that former Presidents Obama and Clinton had “severely abused the goal, spirit and intent” of the 1906 Antiquities Act in creating the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments, respectively.

Trump, in a speech at Utah’s Capitol with the governor and other politicians, said the state’s lands should not be managed by “very distant bureaucrats located in Washington”.

Trump, he says, “listened to the local people, even though they weren’t millions of voters, only 15,000 people in our community”.

President Trump argued that the people of Utah know best how to care for their land. “But from now on, that won’t matter”.

Earthjustice is representing eight organizations in a suit charging that the president violated the 1906 Antiquities Act by stripping monument protections from this national treasure: The Wilderness Society, the Grand Canyon Trust, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project.

“I’m going to sue him”, Chouinard told CNN. Making the change from a monument to a park would give it more resources, but also make it more accessible to the public.

Their lawsuits began flying as soon as the decision was announced.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday the threat of lawsuits wouldn’t change the administration’s decision and that special interest groups are using the issue to raise money.

Patagonia has always been an active participant in the fight to protect the environment.

Patagonia was joined by outdoor supply store REI in using their retail website to protest the President’s decision to reduce the size of the two monuments by a combined almost 2 million acres.

No president has tried to eliminate a monument, but some have reduced or redrawn the boundaries on 18 occasions, according to the National Park Service. “They’ve already established what their values are, so when something like this comes down the line, they don’t have to think twice before they act”. Patagonia isn’t taking those stakes lightly. “We will use the power of the law to stop Trump’s illegal actions”. They belong to ALL Americans.

On Monday, Patagonia’s chief executive doubled down on that message. With more monuments potentially on the chopping block, what happens now with Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante will set the tone for the future of protecting land in the United States, and the power that a president can yield in privatizing them.

“While we are glad to see a member of our congressional delegation finally saying he wants to protect our public lands, this proposal from Rep. Stewart seems to be nothing more than subterfuge following yesterday’s tragic decisions”, said Chase Thomas with Alliance for a Better Utah.

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