Environmentalists say Donald Trump does not have authority to shrink Utah monument

George Frey Getty Images

George Frey Getty Images

The president issued two proclamations Monday to reduce the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, as well as the Bears Ears National Monument, and to allow mining in the newly public lands, and conservation groups filed a lawsuit against it a few hours later.

"The President and a handful of politicians would like you to believe that they are doing what is best by rescinding 85 percent of Bears Ears National Monument and almost half of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument", Marcario wrote.

Audio will be available later today.

"While past presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect unique lands and cultural sites in America, Trump is instead mangling the law, opening this national monument to coal mining instead of protecting its scientific, historic, and wild heritage", said Earthjustice's attorney Heidi McIntosh. The outdoor clothing and gear manufacturer said it will join forces with environmental organizations, Native American groups and other businesses to keep those lands protected.

"Americans have overwhelmingly spoken out against the Trump Administration's unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments". "We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts".

The first proclamation Trump signed will shrink the size of the Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent, or around 1.1 million acres. This is the biggest reduction of federal land protection in the history of the nation.

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Patagonia's argument for preserving public lands is as much an economic argument as it is an environmental and moral one.

"The argument that somehow President Trump stole land is nefarious, false and a lie", he said. No president has ever revoked and replaced a national monument before because it is not legal to do so.

"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.

Conservation and national monuments go hand-in-hand.

Outdoor retailer Patagonia is no stranger to throwing its weight behind worthy causes, particularly those aligned with its mission to "use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis". According to the OIA, more than three million Americans have contacted the administration to protect public lands, including outdoor recreation company executives that are creating more jobs in rural communities. OIA said the move will enable industry members to come together to protect public lands and boost the US outdoor industry's economy moving forward. "I have seen these impacts myself - and as an American, I am ashamed we have let this happen".

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