U.S. outdoor retailers start campaign against mass shrinking of national monuments

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-06 15:20:29|Editor: pengying
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Patagonia, REI and other major outdoor clothing and equipment retailers in the United States spoke out Tuesday against the Trump administration's plan to shrink two national monuments in the western state of Utah.

President Donald Trump on Monday announced that his administration would shrink Bears Ears National Monument, a region of red rock canyons, by 85 percent, and cut another monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, to about half its current size.

"The president stole your land," Patagonia said in a pop-up message on its website, Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday.

"In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history," the California-based outdoor clothing and gear producer said.

This message got over 42,000 likes, 57,000 shares and 2,700 comments on its Facebook page till Tuesday afternoon. Most users praised Patagonia for standing up and applauded its plan to file a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the president's order.

Patagonia appealed to all online customers to take action to support the protection of federal public lands, such as tweeting its disapproval of the administration's plan.

"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," Patagonia said on its official website.

Besides Patagonia, other big outdoor retails like REI, North Face and Canada's Arc'teryx all announced that they would take actions to oppose the move.

"I think the government should protect the public lands better than we do, rather than cut its size. As an outdoor recreation industry, we need the support (from) the outdoor activity lovers. If we are losing this part of people, we will lose our jobs," Jennifer Fernandez, a saleswoman at REI of Northridge, California, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

REI said that they would continue to pursue bipartisan support to protect public lands.

According to Patagonia, outdoor recreation is among America's largest industries, contributing 7.6 million jobs and 887 billion U.S. dollars in annual consumer spending -- far outpacing the jobs and spending generated by the oil and gas industry.