Patagonia Inc. makes perhaps the most quality outdoor products out there. They replace zippers, mend holes, fill lost down, and recycle used garments into new ones and this is to be commended. Patagonia offers excellent customer service and a lifetime product guarantee.  Many of their items are also Fair Trade, which is a win-win as far as I’m concerned.

I let the first email (sent yesterday) slide because Patagonia makes such great products.  Our family is routinely outfitted head-to-toe in Patagonia gear for trips to Maine and Michigan during the cooler months. But ten minutes ago, I received a second email from them regarding the current president’s inclination to transfer federal land back to  states for caretaking.  My primary beef with these emails is that they mock state sovereignty and promote the ever-expanding talons of the federal government.

Patagonia also failed to mention in the said email that similar legislation was being proposed by effected states during the Obama reign, suggesting that reducing federal lands (which have become exceedingly expensive to keep) by having states “purchase” the lands from the fed could net proceeds used to pay down the national deficit. I’ve followed this argument closely, and written about it in the past on LIM.

Obama orchestrated the single largest land-grab in presidential history, three times the size of Texas, during his tenure. Of course, he was a lame duck at the time and therefore was not concerned about how it would be paid for, maintained, etc… After all, what does he know about hunting, conservation, and animal management? The only guns he esteems are those held by thug hoodies or stockpiled by communist dictators (nice Christmas ornament, Mr. President).

The email from Patagonia also failed to state the fact that those very lands have only been “federal” for less than a year. In February 2017, the Governor of Utah asked President Trump to give the state of Utah back the lands that Obama took from that state and designated as federal lands only two months prior. Because the people of Utah should decide, and as of yesterday’s decision, Utah will again have those areas of Bears Ears and other disputed federal acres returned to their dominion.

Patagonia Inc. offered this rebuttal (also signed by REI and The North Face) to Utah Governor Gary Herbert on February 14, 2017:

“America’s public lands are ‘a vitally important issue that affects the economic health of our industry, our local communities, and the lives of all Americans….The people of the United States, today and tomorrow, share equally in the ownership of these majestic places. This powerful idea transcends party lines and sets our country apart from the rest of the world. That is why we strongly oppose any proposal, current or future, that devalues or compromises the integrity of our national public lands.”

The fact that people must often buy gear to visit the “monuments” in order to experience the terra first hand is a given. But the self-serving interests of those outfitters heavily hinted of capitalism under the guise of inclusive environmentalism.

To fully unwrap the issue, in its simplest form, those public lands belonged to someone/something else before December 2017, when Obama decided to designate them as public lands. Private land ownership is paramount among our rights as American citizens.  And a governmental land grab grossly infringes on that right.
Makes me want to recycle the nine Patagonia jackets hanging in our collective closets.
But it’s going to snow next week, so maybe I’ll wait till spring.
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