And there ya have it folks. What’s long been expected from the Trump administration materialized today in the form of an executive order that promises to downsize two of Utah’s most recently designated national monuments.
The result would be two monuments whose acreage would amount to less than 15% of its original size. Patagonia reacted to the news earlier today with the following statement.
Full Statement From Patagonia:
Why Patagonia is in the Fight to Protect Public Lands
“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.” — Teddy Roosevelt
Patagonia has been in the fight to protect public lands for almost 30 years— and we are proud to have played a part in the establishment of several national monuments, including Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Basin and Range and Gold Butte National Monuments in Nevada. 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. Climbers, hikers, hunters and anglers all agree that public lands are a critical part of our national heritage and these lands belong not just to us, but to future generations.
There is Broad Public Support for Protecting Federal Public Lands
Over 2.7 million public comments poured in during the Department of the Interior’s 60-day comment period—a record-breaking response. More than 98 percent of those comments expressed support for maintaining or expanding national monuments.
The Outdoor Industry Relies on Public Lands
Shutting down a national monument, or any major portion of a national monument, could have a devastating impact on local economies and the multibillion-dollar outdoor recreation economy that America’s public lands and waterways support.
Public lands host 71 percent of climbers, 70 percent of hunters and 43 percent of paddlers in America, and they also contain nearly 200,000 miles of hiking trails and 13,000 miles of mountain biking trails.
Outdoor recreation is among America’s largest industries, contributing 7.6 million jobs and $887 billion in annual consumer spending— far outpacing the jobs and spending generated by the oil and gas industry.
States Have Historically Sold Off Federal Lands
History shows that when the federal government grants, sells or otherwise gifts federal land to states, 70 percent of the land is sold to private interests, jeopardizing public access.
States have different rules for land management, and private lands are often not accessible to the general public, meaning the transfer of federal lands to private hands could impact outdoor activity and access.
It is a Myth that More Public Lands are Needed for Oil and Gas Development
90 percent of U.S. public lands are open to oil and gas leasing and development; only 10 percent are protected for recreation, conservation and wildlife.
Over 7,500 approved drilling permits on federal land are undrilled and idled.
In 2015, oil companies produced 175 million barrels of crude oil from federal lands, up 60 percent from 2008.