The North Face, Patagonia, REI Respond to Trump's Executive Order on Public Lands

"As stewards of America’s federal public lands, the Trump administration has an obligation to protect these most special wild places. Unfortunately, it seems clear they intend to do the opposite." - Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this year, you’ve probably read about the controversy surrounding the Bears Ears National Monument in Southern Utah. The Utah state government has urged the Trump administration to rescind the monument, which was anointed by President Obama just days before he left office.

The outdoors industry fired back at the state - some companies pulled out of the Summer Outdoor Retailer event and the event organizers have confirmed that they will leave Utah when the contract is up in 2018.  

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order that threatens Bears Ears National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and “all national monument designations on federal public land since 1996 that are 100,000 acres or more in size.”

Once again, the community is firing back. Read the responses from The North Face, Patagonia, REI, and the Outdoors Industry Association below:

The North Face

In our country’s infancy, our leaders had the brilliance and foresight to protect our nation’s epic natural lands, not for business, but to feed our souls and create life-long conservationists. Most notably among these was Teddy Roosevelt and his powerful vision to enact the 1906 American Antiquities Act. Consider for a moment a world without the sacred rocks and stone temples of our heritage, or without the great ranges and life-supporting waters, open to all and owned by all, who wish to connect with the natural world. We fundamentally believe our National Monuments, Parks and public lands are vital shared spaces and any attempt to change them threatens our heritage, destroying part of the very core of who we have become as a nation. It also erodes the livelihood of 7.6 million people who are employed in outdoor recreation. We stand with the outdoor industry, our customers and the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose any legislation that would reduce or devalue our National Monuments, Parks and public lands. Protecting and preserving access to these places is core to our mission to enable all people to explore outdoors. #NeverStopExploring

Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order at the Department of the Interior Wednesday directing the review of federally designated lands to determine if the federal government should relinquish ownership to states.

Less than 24 hours after joining with our industry to celebrate the economic power of outdoor recreation, in a hypocritical move, the Trump administration took unprecedented steps that could result in the removal of protections for treasured public lands. We take this as a sign that Trump and his team prefer to cater to fossil fuel interests and state land grabs for unsustainable development, rather than preserve a vital part of our nation’s heritage for future generations by protecting federal lands owned by every citizen.

Our National Monuments were established after extensive public input because they provide unique and irreplaceable cultural, ecological, economic and recreational value worth protecting for our children and our grandchildren. As stewards of America’s federal public lands, the Trump administration has an obligation to protect these most special wild places. Unfortunately, it seems clear they intend to do the opposite.

A president does not have the authority to rescind a National Monument. An attempt to change the boundaries ignores the review process of cultural and historical characteristics and the public input. We’re watching the Trump administration’s actions very closely and preparing to take every step necessary, including legal action, to defend our most treasured public landscapes from coast to coast.

I urge everyone who loves America’s public lands and supports the continued protection of National Monuments to contact their members of Congress and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to express outrage at the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back National Monument protections. Make sure your voice is heard by making phone calls, showing up at town hall meetings and visiting legislators’ offices in the coming days and weeks.

REI

Last night we learned that today, Wednesday, the administration will issue an executive order calling for a review of approximately 30 national monuments over 100,000 acres, dating back to 1996.

A review this broad-ranging is unprecedented and that is obviously cause for concern.

The order itself does not rescind existing national monuments but it does leave that open as an option, along with reducing or resizing them. That is a threat to the integrity of our public lands, which millions of Americans see as national treasures.

Thanks to the work of 16 presidents over more than 100 years from both parties, today our national public lands are for all Americans. Our public lands benefit from huge bipartisan support and have passionate supporters on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. And we are encouraged that Secretary Zinke has said, again, that “nobody loves public lands more than I do. You can love them the same. But not more.”

We understand that the review will include focus on these lands’ economic value. Just this morning, the industry launched its latest economic impact report, showing the outdoor industry supports 7.6M sustainable American jobs and nearly $900B in consumer spending and $125B in tax revenue. That positive impact extends from our largest cities to the vitality of our rural communities. In that light, we believe there is a compelling case to maintain the integrity of our existing national monuments.

REI is engaging directly with our elected officials from both parties. We’re working across the outdoor industry to ensure that our collective passion for public lands and their economic and societal value is clear. Our 16 million members can be assured that we believe – as Teddy Roosevelt said – our public lands should be left stronger and healthier for future generations.

That is a significant responsibility for the Secretary of Interior and his department to live up to, and so REI will help provide all the evidence and support needed to prove just how much the outdoor community loves these iconic places and the way of life they make possible.

OIA Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order for a Review of Existing National Monument Designations under the Antiquities Act

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and the outdoor industry business community are concerned about and closely watching President Trump’s Executive Order calling for a review of National Monument designations under the Antiquities Act.

According to a briefing by Secretary Zinke on April 25, President Trump’s Executive Order requests the following:

  • A review of approximately 30 National Monuments designated from January 1, 1996 through the end of 2016 that are over 100,000 acres in size

  • An interim report that will be concluded within 45 days and a final report within 120 days of the order

  • Specifically, the review will begin with Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument designated in 1996 and end with Bears Ears National Monument designated in late 2016

According to the briefing, tomorrow’s Executive Order will not do the following:

  • Strip any monument of a designation

  • Loosen any environmental regulation on land or marine areas

  • Strip any National Monuments of any protections

The outdoor recreation economy generates over $887 billion in consumer spending and supports 7.6 million American jobs. The outdoor industry believes our public lands are special places attracting millions of people and generating billions of dollars in economic activity. Every year, Americans and international visitors account for more than 330 million visits to fish, camp, hike and otherwise recreate in our National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites and other public lands.  The U.S. Department of the Interior just last week reported that visits to our National Parks added $35 billion to the U.S. economy.

“We are concerned about the narrative that the designation of national monuments has led to a loss of jobs and wages in surrounding communities,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of Outdoor Industry Association. “We believe the facts demonstrate the opposite story.

Monuments, many of which have become National Parks, have created economic prosperity and jobs in local communities for decades. The vast majority of Americans value their National Parks and Monuments and want these lands protected. Negatively impacting National Monuments will be extremely unpopular with the American people and will take away economic opportunity from communities that need it the most.”

America’s public lands are a seminal thread that set the fabric of our nation apart from the rest of the world. While our national parks like Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone and others are the crown jewels of our public lands system, we cannot underestimate the historical role monuments, wildlife refuges and other public lands have played in creating National Parks like Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, Arches in Utah and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

As OIA receives additional information about this Executive Order and Secretary Zinke’s review process, we will keep our members advised on how to provide public input.

Cover photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

Published: April 27, 2017

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