House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop has invited the founder and owner of outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia to testify before his panel to talk about the company’s opposition to President Trump’s rollback of two national monuments in Utah.
Patagonia sued the Trump administration this month for shrinking the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, and the company’s owner, Yvon Chouinard, has publicly feuded with the president and the Utah Republican's committee.
“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 day,” Bishop said Friday in a letter to Chouinard. “The committee also believes it is important to understand and allow for all perspectives to be presented fairly and respectfully. It is apparent that you have strong feelings on the topic as well. As part of this continuing process, I wish to invite you to testify before the committee about your views on federal land management.”
Shortly after Trump visited Utah Dec. 4 to announce the shrinking of the monuments, Patagonia replaced its homepage on its website with a black slate reading: "The President Stole Your Land."
"In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments," Patagonia's website also said in smaller font. "This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history."
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke responded, saying it was "shameful" that Patagonia would "blatantly lie."
Bishop’s committee also challenged Patagonia on Twitter, calling the company a “corporate giant hijacking our public lands debate to sell more products to wealthy elitist urban dwellers from New York to San Francisco.”
Trump signed proclamations reducing the 1.35 million acres of Bears Ears, established by former President Barack Obama, to 201,876 acres, and Grand Staircase, created by former President Bill Clinton in 1996, from 1.7 million acres to 1 million.
The administration has been hit with multiple legal challenges, with opponents arguing the president does not have authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act to unilaterally change the boundaries of previously established monuments.