Zinke fires back at Patagonia over ‘appalling’ ad
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke fired back at outdoor retailer Patagonia on Tuesday, calling it “shameful” for recreation companies to “blatantly lie” in saying President Trump’s decision to shrink the Bears Ears national monument violated the law.
Zinke slammed the popular outfitting company for claiming on its website that “The President Stole Your Land,” a move the company claimed was “illegal.”
“I understand fundraising for these special interest groups, but I think its shameful and appalling that they would blatantly lie in order to put money in their coffers,” Zinke told reporters.
Trump’s Monday order to shrink both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by roughly 1 million acres each would be the largest retraction of publicly owned lands in U.S. history, which Patagonia also noted on its website.
“You mean Patagonia made in China? This is an example of a special interest,” Zinke said Tuesday.
“What one square inch was stolen? The federal state remains intact,” he continued, noting the enormous size of the Utah monument, which has more square acreage than both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks combined.
Trump has branded the decision as a fight against federal overreach, a sentiment held by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) since before President Obama designated the Bears Ears monument in the last month of his presidency.
Patagonia announced it will sue the administration over the decision, after previously threatening legal action over the administration’s initial order for the Interior Department to review the monuments created during the last three presidencies. The Grand-Staircase monument was created in 1996 under former President Clinton.
“Secretary Zinke’s definition of a special interest is someone who hasn’t flown him around on a private jet. We have been fighting for these lands for decades, so that hunters, fishers, hikers and everyone else can use them and help us protect them,” Patagonia spokeswoman Corley Kenna told The Hill on Tuesday.
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