Patagonia Expected To Sue Over Trump Order To Shrink National Monuments

Patagonia Expected To Sue Over Trump Order To Shrink National Monuments

Environmental and conservation groups and a coalition of tribes filed lawsuits Monday that ensure Trump's announcement is far from the final word in the yearslong battle over public lands in Utah and other Western states.

Earthjustice, which filed on behalf of ten groups including the Wilderness Society and the Natural Resources Defense Council, challenges the reduction of the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, according to AP. In the largest-ever reduction of a national monument, the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is being shrunk by 85%.

Native American leaders say President Donald Trump's move to drastically shrink a Utah national monument is the president's second insult to native people in a week and an offense that tribes will unite to fight.

The new page prompts visitors to take action with Patagonia as they "stand alongside over 350 businesses, conservation groups and Native American tribes that have come together on this issue to protect public lands".

State officials said the protections were overly broad and closed off the area to energy development and other access.

President Trump signed an executive order in April directing Zinke to review the protections.

Both were among a group of 27 monuments that President Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review this year. The White House didn't respond Monday to a CNN request for comment about legal action against Trump's decision.

The monument designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996 was almost 3,000 square miles (7,770 square kilometers).

Zinke accompanied Trump aboard Air Force One, as did Utah's Republican U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee.

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Mr Trump, for his part, justified his decision by returning to an old favorite: Washington overreach.

The laws states that once a president designates a piece of land a national monument, it can not be changed.

"My sense was more people who have a sense of the sacred and for spirituality need to go out and see this land, be on this land, be in communion with this land and the wildlife and everything that's around it and the local communities, because when you are in that place, there is no doubt it is an incredibly sacred and powerful place", Black said. The suit, which is likely to provoke a prolonged court battle, claims Trump can not legally revoke the land's monument status.

No president has tried to eliminate a monument, but some have reduced or redrawn the boundaries on 18 occasions, according to the National Park Service.

"Everybody, I think, wants some stability and certainty about what lands are protected and what lands are open to development going forward, and to have it bounce back and forth nearly like a ping pong ball would not be helpful", Keiter says. 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.

Under the law, presidents are supposed to reserve "the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected", but critics say some designations flout that small-scale approach.

Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch says only Congress has the ability to downsize a monument.

Zinke has also recommended to Trump that Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monuments be reduced in size, though details remain unclear.

Zinke also has recommended allowing logging at a newly designated monument in ME and urges more grazing, hunting and fishing at two sites in New Mexico.

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