Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Donald Trump rolls back federal land protections

Donald Trump rolls back federal land protections

Sporting goods retailer Patagonia and a coalition of conservationists have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for his decision to shrink two Utah national monuments.

Audio will be available later today. We are also proud to stand alongside over 350 businesses, conservation groups and Native American tribes that have come together on this issue to protect public lands.

"We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts", CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement to AdAge.

Bears Ears National Monument was established as a national monument by President Obama in December 2016, and Grand Staircase-Escalante was set as a national monument by President Clinton in 1996.

The reasoning behind the move is to designate as protected "the smallest area compatible with the protection of the objects of scientific or historic interest", and the proclamation also opens the newly public lands to "disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing; and location, entry, and patent under the mining laws".

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"Just this morning, the industry launched its latest economic impact report, showing the outdoor industry supports 7.6M sustainable American jobs and almost $900B in consumer spending and $125B in tax revenue".

Trump said Monday the "public lands will once again be for public use".

"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", REI added. In total, five national monuments will see their size reduced, for a total rollback of 1.2 million acres that previously were under the federal government's protection. The company cites statistics estimating that the outdoor recreation industry employs 7.6 million jobs and generates $887 million in economic activity - outpacing the jobs and spending generated by the USA fossil fuels sector.

The bold move seems to have attracted so much attention to Patagonia's website that it struggled to handle the traffic. Bloomberg reported that the retailer's website was overwhelmed, as a huge number of people visited the site. OIA said the move will enable industry members to come together to protect public lands and boost the USA outdoor industry's economy moving forward. "We will use the power of the law to stop Trump's illegal actions".

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