Patagonia founder rejects Congress’s invitation to discuss national monument cuts

Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia has been one of the most ardent critics of President Trump’s decision to cut roughly two million acres of land from two national monuments in Utah, and the company’s founder Yvon Chouinard isn’t mincing his words to ensure he gets his point across.

Last week, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop invited Chouinard to “testify before the Committee about your views on federal land management.” His invitation came days after Patagonia and a number of other organizations announced their plans to sue the Trump administration for “extreme overreach of authority” in regards to the president’s decision to cut Bears Ears National Monument by 85%.

In his letter, Bishop stated that “the Committee believes that major public policy decisions involving millions of acres of public land should be discussed, debated and considered in the light of the day. The Committee also believes it is important to understand and allow for all perspectives to be presented fairly and respectfully.”

However, Chouinard found the invitation to be too little, too late. In response to Bishop, he said he found it disingenuous that the committee would ask him to testify “for a matter already decided by the administration,” which he described as a “macabre celebration of the largest reduction in public lands in American history.”

He continued: “It is clear that the House Committee on Natural Resources, like many committees in this failed Orwellian government, is shackled to special interests of oil, gas, and mining and will seek to sell off our public lands at every turn and continue to denigrate Theodore Roosevelt’s Antiquities Act, which has preserved our treasured public lands for over 100 years.”

Chouinard concluded the letter by stating that he has “little hope” that Bishop is working in good faith with this invitation. The letter can be read in its entirety in the tweet below.

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Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a senior reporter at The Drum covering brands. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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