President Donald Trump signed two proclamations Monday afternoon to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by 85 percent and 50 percent respectively. Backlash from leaders of the outdoor recreation industry, environmentalist groups and some Indian tribes began almost as soon as the decision was announced.
Yvon Chouinard, billionaire owner of Patagonia, immediately announced plans to sue the Trump administration and delivered the following message via his website’s homepage:
The President Stole Your Land. In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.
“Ah, no, they didn’t ‘eliminate’ the land,” Glenn responded to Chouinard’s message on the show today. “The land is still there and the Federal government still owns it. If you like to wear Patagonia clothes and go hiking, what the president did was make it allowable for you to hike there. Otherwise, you just had to go stand on the road and look at it.”
Glenn took to the chalkboard to clear up all the confusion and misinformation regarding our country’s national monuments which in accordance with the Antiquities Act of 1906 are designated by the president and protected by the government as ‘important objects of historic or scientific interest.’
“The Antiquities Act was supposed to protect archaeological sites from souvenir hunters,” explained Glenn, adding, “Once the land is declared a national monument, it’s closed. And I mean closed to ranching, mining, and development -- but also to you. Don’t you dare pitch a tent there. This is not a park.”
Conservationists will be relieved to learn that the land in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante no longer designated as national monuments will still belong to the Federal government and will continue to be protected from development and exploitation. The difference is: you just might be able to use it.
Watch the video clip above or click here to find out more about America's national monuments.