On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to reassess the size of national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, to determine whether the acreage covered by the monument’s designation meets the “requirements and original objectives of the Act.”
As reported by TIME, the wording of the executive order is a bit nebulous, but opens up the possibility that Zinke could reduce the amount of acreage protected in certain national monuments if he deems it excessive. At that point, the formerly federally protected lands could be used for — among other things — energy exploration.
That didn’t sit well with Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario, who posted an open letter criticizing the executive order on Patagonia’s website Wednesday.
“We take [the executive order] as a sign that [President Trump] and his team prefer to cater to fossil fuel interests and state land grabs for unsustainable development, rather than preserve a vital part of our nation’s heritage for future generations by protecting federal lands owned by every citizen,” Marcario wrote in her letter.
“Our national monuments were established after extensive public input because they provide unique and irreplaceable cultural, ecological, economic and recreational value worth protecting for our children and our grandchildren,” Marcario continued. “As stewards of America's federal public lands, the Trump administration has an obligation to protect these most special wild places. Unfortunately, it seems clear they intend to do the opposite.”
Marcario signed off her letter urging concerned citizens to contact Zinke and express their displeasure with the executive order. Adweek reports that the executive order puts the protected status of 24 national monuments at risk.
While it will be a while before the outcomes of the executive order are known, one thing that is clear is that the protection of federal lands is something Patagonia takes seriously as a brand: Earlier this year, the brand condemned attempts by Utah to roll back the federal protections on the Bears Ears National Monument and pulled out of the state’s Outdoor Retailer trade show soon thereafter.
Read more about Patagonia’s activism on GrindTV