Native Americans and environmental advocates get help from outdoor retailers as they battle proposal to change monuments’ boundaries
Environmental activists, Native American groups and a coalition of outdoor retailers have vowed to redouble their efforts to protect public lands, after the US interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, recommended on Thursday that Donald Trump change the boundaries of a “handful” of national monuments.
“Secretary Zinke’s recommendation is an insult to tribes,” said Carleton Bowekaty, co-chairman of the Inter-Tribal Coalition, which asked Barack Obama to create the Bears Ears monument in Utah in 2015, citing increasing thefts and vandalism at more than 100,000 native cultural sites in the area.
Millions of petitioners have joined an urgently assembled advocacy effort to dissuade the Trump administration from moving against the monuments. On Friday, the outdoor retailer Patagonia, which spearheaded the industry initiative, said the group would continue its efforts.
“We’re willing to take every step necessary, including legal action, to defend these public lands,” said Hans Cole, director of environmental activism at Patagonia. “For us, all of these awful scenarios present something that is unacceptable to us and to a great majority of the American public.”
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