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Patagonia to sue Trump over national monuments

The outdoor clothing brand Patagonia is joining environmental groups and Native American tribes in the fight against President Trump’s attempt to scale back national monuments.

Trump signed proclamations to shrink Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante in the name of states’ rights, prompting an outcry from critics who fear the uranium-rich land will be used for oil drilling, mining, and grazing.

Patagonia vowed to sue the White House and changed its website to address the “illegal move” in a bold declaration that reads, “The President Stole Your Land.”

“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.

Trump slicing size of Utah national monuments by at least half

Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight organizations on Monday, claiming the President violated the Antiquities Act, signed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to preserve ruins or monuments on federal land.

Patagonia vowed to sue the White House and changed its website to address the “illegal move” in a bold declaration that reads, “The President Stole Your Land.”

Patagonia vowed to sue the White House and changed its website to address the “illegal move” in a bold declaration that reads, “The President Stole Your Land.”

“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 Navajo Nation also issued a statement on Monday that read, “The decision disrespects Native Americans across the country by acting against the Antiquities Act, which has been used countless times since 1906 to protect Native American heritage.”

“Navajo Nation will be filing a legal challenge to President Trump’s decision and we will not back down,” said Council Delegate Davis Filfred.

The Bears Ears National Monument, created by former President Barack Obama before he left office, includes an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites.

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Ancient granaries, part of the House on Fire ruins are shown here in the South Fork of Mule Canyon in the Bears Ears National Monument.

(George Frey/Getty Images)

The land is also considered sacred by Native Americans, who visit the area to perform ceremonies, collect herbs and wood for medicinal and spiritual purposes, and conduct healing rituals.

Trump, who called on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 27 national monuments earlier this year, signed the two proclamations on Monday to reduce Bears Ears National Monument by 220,000 acres, or 84 percent.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, created by Bill Clinton in 1996, will be downsized from 1.9 million acres to 1 million acres.

Zinke wrote in a memo to Trump that “several billion tons of coal and large oil deposits” lie within the monument’s boundaries, while noting the amount of cattle grazing allowed there remains the same since 1996.

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

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