Men's Journal

Patagonia CEO Calls Trump’s Executive Order “Hypocritical” and “Unprecedented”

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Soon after President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for the Department of Interior to review all National Monuments since 1996 — 57 monuments by our count — Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario came out with a fiery statement calling the move “hypocritical” and “unprecedented.”

“Less than 24 hours after joining with our industry to celebrate the economic power of outdoor recreation… the Trump administration took unprecedented steps that could result in the removal of protections for treasured public lands,” writes Marcario. “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.”

Patagonia has been one of the most outspoken companies in 2017 when it comes to the protection of public lands. Since Utah Governor Gary Herbert called on President Trump to revoke Bears Ears National Monument in February (land designated by President Obama), Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard penned a letter of dissent; the company pulled out of Outdoor Retailer, citing its Utah home; and built out a massive VR experience in support of Bears Ears. Now that Trump has signaled interest in reviewing monuments beyond Bears Ears, the company is stepping up its rhetoric. 

“We’re watching the Trump administration’s actions very closely and preparing to take every step necessary,” says Marcario, “including legal action, to defend our most treasured public landscapes from coast to coast.”

National Monuments are created under the Antiquities Act, first established in 1906 during a period of widespread looting in the American West. Congress decided that they needed an expedited way of protecting lands, so they granted the President powers to establish, with the stroke of a pen, national monuments. A total of 16 presidents  have used the act to designate national monuments, with just three abstaining. 

The Act has a high level of popularity among voters: According to one poll, 80 percent of people in the American West think we should keep National Monument designations in place. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke argues this review is meant to restore “the trust between local communities and Washington” and “to give Americans a voice and make sure their voices are heard.”

Marcario agrees at least that Americans should make their voices heard: “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.”

Patagonia’s full press release is below. 

Ventura, Calif. (April 26, 2017) – 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.

-Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO