Patagonia Owner Sues Over Bears Ears: I Won't Let 'Evil' Win

Company sues to keep Trump administration from slashing national monument by 85%
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2017 5:21 AM CST
Patagonia Owner Sues Over Bears Ears: I Won't Let 'Evil' Win
This July 15, 2016, file photo, shows the "Moon House" in McLoyd Canyon, which is part of Bears Ears National Monument, near Blanding, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Go to Patagonia's website and you're greeted with a message Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has deemed "nefarious": "The President Stole Your Land." The California company is referring to President Trump's move to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah, but it's not stopping at that: It filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the Bears Ears slashing, joining three other legal challenges to save the monuments, the AP reports. The suit, which the AP notes was filed on behalf of several groups, says the proposed 85% reduction at Bears Ears is an "extreme overreach in authority" and puts at risk dinosaur fossils and Native American artifacts, among other resources. Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard told CNN of his litigious plans earlier this week, noting, "This government is evil, and I'm not going to sit back and let evil win."

President Obama designated Bears Ears a national monument at the end of 2016; Grand Staircase-Escalante received the protection 20 years earlier from President Clinton. At the heart of the commotion is whether a current president can walk back a former president's creation of a national monument under the Antiquities Act, with Native American tribes, environmental groups, and paleontologists arguing that Trump doesn't have the authority to do so; two legal experts interviewed by the AP had varying opinions on the matter. NBC News, which notes the legal wrangling over the national monuments could stretch out for years, adds that Patagonia has long been active in fighting for Utah's public lands. The AP notes more lawsuits are anticipated, especially if Trump moves on Zinke's push to cut other national monuments. More in Time from Patagonia's CEO on why the company is suing. (More Patagonia stories.)

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