Patagonia Is Suing the White House as Companies Like North Face and REI Take a Stand for Public Land

Brand moves follow President Trump's Monday announcement

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On Monday, while speaking at the Utah State Capital, President Trump revealed his plan to reduce the size of two national monuments—Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante—by roughly two million acres. In a swift response to Trump’s revelation, Patagonia revamped its website with a new landing page featuring a black background and white text reading “The President stole your land.” The company also announced that it would file a lawsuit to combat the administration’s decision.

“The Administration’s unlawful actions betray our shared responsibility to protect iconic places for future generations and represent the largest elimination of protected land in American history,” Hilary Dessouky, general counsel for Patagonia, said in a statement. “We worked to establish Bears Ears National Monument and will now fight to protect it. On Wednesday, we will be filing a lawsuit challenging the president’s revocation of Bears Ears National Monument.”

After the Inter Tribal Coalition files a suit, Patagonia plans to file their suit on Wednesday with groups including the Friends of Cedar Mesa, Utah Dine Bikeyah and Archaeology Southwest.

Patagonia is not the only outdoor gear company to react to the administration’s move. A representative for REI wrote on the company’s blog that the decision “follows the Administration’s hasty four-month review (from April to August) of 27 national monuments designated during the last two decades. As part of the monuments review, more than 2.8 million Americans submitted comments, with over 99 percent in favor of protecting them. Those voices have fallen on deaf ears.”

REI’s blog post continued: “At REI, we are unwavering in our nonpartisan commitment to public lands—to protecting this nation’s spectacular natural places—the mountains, deserts, prairies, waters and forests that tens of millions of Americans from all backgrounds cherish and enjoy annually. The nation’s outdoors have benefited from longstanding support on both the left and the right of the political spectrum.”

REI also posted on its social channels calling for people to change their profile pictures in solidarity with the brand’s commitment to public land.

As for North Face, the company also changed their landing page to highlight a message about Bears Ears; the page also included a link to a Kickstarter page to raise funds to create an education center, dubbed the Bears Ears Education Center, in Bluff, Utah.

North Face president Arne Arens also wrote an op-ed for Quartz: “What had been carefully protected so that all Americans could enjoy it is now likely to be put on the market for the highest bidder. It will be difficult but essential work to restore Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante to their former protected status, but we can work together to make sure that these incredible places are available to everyone.”

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.