REI Response to Executive Order on National Monuments

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Last night we learned that today, Wednesday, the administration will issue an executive order calling for a review of 27 national monuments over 100,000 acres, dating back to 1996.

A review this broad-ranging is unprecedented and that is obviously cause for concern.

The order itself does not rescind existing national monuments but it does leave that open as an option, along with reducing or resizing them. That is a threat to the integrity of our public lands, which millions of Americans see as national treasures.

Thanks to the work of 16 presidents over more than 100 years from both parties, today our national public lands are for all Americans. Our public lands benefit from huge bipartisan support and have passionate supporters on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. And we are encouraged that Secretary Zinke has said, again, that “nobody loves public lands more than I do. You can love them the same. But not more.”

We understand that the review will include focus on these lands’ economic value. Just this morning, the industry launched its latest economic impact report, showing the outdoor industry supports 7.6M sustainable American jobs and nearly $900B in consumer spending and $125B in tax revenue. That positive impact extends from our largest cities to the vitality of our rural communities. In that light, we believe there is a compelling case to maintain the integrity of our existing national monuments.

REI is engaging directly with our elected officials from both parties. We’re working across the outdoor industry to ensure that our collective passion for public lands and their economic and societal value is clear. Our 16 million members can be assured that we believe – as Teddy Roosevelt said – our public lands should be left stronger and healthier for future generations.

That is a significant responsibility for the Secretary of Interior and his department to live up to, and so REI will help provide all the evidence and support needed to prove just how much the outdoor community loves these iconic places and the way of life they make possible.

  • Mmartin

    “I think the concern that I have and the president has is that when you
    designate a monument, the local community should have a voice,” Zinke
    told reporters at the White House.

    • bonnie


    • Ontogenesis

      Thing is, Bears Ears WAS the result of the local community asking for it. The tribes wanted this very badly. It’s Big Oil & Big Mine who are enraged they can’t just exploit these special lands. But don’t take it from me… here’s the tribal statement:
      “Bears Ears has been home to Hopi, Navajo, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute and Zuni for countless generations. The national monument has taken more than 80 years to designate. The proclamation acknowledges a cultural landscape rich in antiquities, with more than 100,000 archaeological and cultural sites sacred to dozens of tribes.”

      • David Schmitz

        San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was not supported by the people of L.A. . Judy Chu tried to get congress to make this a national monument and the citizens of L.A. were against it and it never got voted on in congress because of that, so Judy Chu and Feintsein got Obama to declare it a national monument.

        • Ontogenesis

          I don’t know about this particular monument — if that’s the case, I’m sorry to hear there was not local buy-in.

    • readthinkrespond

      I believe that’s why Pres Obama sent Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to Bears Ears for several days last July. To see the land and artifacts, and to talk to interested parties. You don’t get much more local than that.

      • Mmartin

        Exactly! He only hears the local “white” voices, and ignores the majority Native American voice. He’s another Trump hand-tool. Nothing more.

  • Phillip Jones

    I love REI and I have been a member for many years but these political articles have to stop. Just because something is being reviewed does not mean that it will be reduced. Why title this as a “cause for concern”.

    • Dan Long

      Because it is cause for concern. Businesses that are interested in public land rarely are looking to pursue options that actually benefit the land that they are taking over. We don’t need a new housing complex or strip mine where there was once a national forest. And if it is news to you that REI was a political agenda, maybe you haven’t been paying attention since their opening. Opening as a Co-Op with conservationist agenda is pretty much the cornerstone of their business. You will probably also want to steer clear of essentially any other quality outdoor gear company as well. They tend to have very similar opinions to REI.

      • RegularJoe62

        Well said, Dan.

    • bonnie


    • Mountain Lyon

      Firstly, it’s cause for concern because this review is unprecedented. Never has our government looked at our national lands with an intent to reduce their size. These articles are becoming more common for a reason, because there is increasing pressure by those in power to remove the protections that preserve our public lands. Look at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada… it was just opened up for private housing development… as if there is a shortage of places to build in Nevada. If this trend doesn’t concern you then I think it’s safe to assume that no one is forcing you to read these ‘political’ articles.

    • rivers2run

      These articles are essential for preservation of wild lands they must stay so they are not locked up by energy shills. like you

    • Iraqnaed

      Because as Americans, we all have to question and monitor our government and its actions. It is our duty as Americans. We also have to keep ourselves educated and I for one, (as someone who is writing from Baghdad where we were informed last week that our USAID-funded project that is doing some truly sustainable work already benefitting ordinary Iraqis and their futures, will be cut short by four months due to budget cuts) am very thankful to REI . I am more than thankful it is keeping its eye on issues important to Americans who love our national public lands and want them to be protected for future generations.

  • The JennCast

    REI fails to recognize their own self-interest, here, at the expense of other businesses, in many cases that have been needlessly shut out of lands that was always set aside as multi-purpose lands, including for businesses to profit from the lands. REI benefits, financially, from the explosion of public recreational lands. Reviewing the need to make these lands off limits to business in no way threatens Roosevelt’s vision to leave the lands stronger than they were found. There has to be a balance and the outdoor retailers of America have forgotten that important point.

    • Dan Long

      Businesses that have a particular interest in the public lands are usually involved in strip mining, drilling, fracking, logging, etc. and do not align themselves with any conservationist perspective. Before we sell of public lands to be used for more consumption, sell your yard out to the highest bidder. The political word “review” is just code for “find new loop holes”.

    • Mountain Lyon

      Balance? Firstly, the economics of the outdoor industry are FAR greater than the direct benefits to massive corporations. Visit the countless small towns that surround national lands and talk to any local on the street about what those lands do to support the countless people who rely on the income. Local Ma and Pa shops all over this nation (not just massive corporations) rely upon these lands for their livelihood. Sure, to describe these actions are pure altruism would be absurd. Of course REI and other retailers and companies have a vested interest in the future of public lands, but to say that retailers are calling for these protections purely out of self-interest is absurd. This review is entirely unprecedented. Never in our history has an administration looked at public land with an intent to shrink it.

      Also, in reference to your comment on balance. Please take a look at a map of the US and compare national lands, protected lands, etc… to land that is undeveloped and can be used for private development. To argue that these national lands are somehow created a land shortage is utterly foolish.

    • rivers2run

      Yes we need more uranium mines and how about oil and gas drilling. Yep we can share unless there are valuable minerals then there is no sharing. It is all about profits not sharing. Go away shill!

    • rivers2run

      There is no sharing when energy companies want Uranium or oil and gas then it is all about them not wild land sharing. Nope not buying this.

    • esolesek

      the only ‘business’ being restricted is resoures extraction, which is AN OBSOLETE INDUSTRY! We don’t need more fossil fuels or cattle, thank you very much.

  • Bob Miller

    Thank you REI. We need more companies to speak up.

    • bonnie

      Fake news…heres the truth

      • rivers2run

        You are a fake news shill!

        • bonnie

          You are rude and can’t make an intelligent response. Only insults?

  • bonnie

    This is fake news. POTUS is preserving not eliminating…

    • Rash

      You linked to a 27 minute news conference to make a statement. 10 minutes of which are a static screen. But don’t worry, we’ll watch it all since you made a good job of making your point…

    • Mountain Lyon

      Just a tip, Youtube is not news.

      • bonnie


    • Edmund Lee

      How exactly is this fake news? Is the executive order NOT calling for a review of the monuments? Because it seems cut and dry that it is.

      • bonnie

        Govt has seized control away from states.

    • Thabata Regiani

      I think we should give you the benefit of the doubt. Please read about what the order actually entails before you try to use the “fake news” argument.

    • rivers2run

      Another shill! You are fake news.

    • rivers2run

      You are fake news ! He wants to eliminate for the sake of energy companies.

  • Mountain Lyon

    As an outdoor instructor for REI I find myself frequently feeling a sense of pride in what we stand for as a coop. Thank you, Jerry… for taking a stand and representing all of us. Our public lands are not just a fragile treasure to be cherished and preserved, but they create a livelihood and an economy for many people living in small towns all across this beautiful nation of ours.

  • muddaholic

    So… What I don’t understand here is the concern for the preserved land. That makes sense, but why does the Co-op and its members not stand in absolute outrage that REI and its various vendors sources such a high percentage of its merchandize from CHINA ? The worlds true environmental criminal…. All the eco-minded lemmings just swoop in and gobble up their future land-fill without a thought. This is the real issue, Trump and his minions will be none factor in 3 1/2 years. China will continue to destroy the earth.

  • Bartshe

    Thank you REI for being sane and reasonable, and speaking out against decisions bent on deconstructing our American public land heritage.

  • Dominic

    Thank you REI for being a positive voice to protect public lands and the environment. It’s so very sad that a few people want to destroy beautiful places for short term, short sighted profit. Preserving monuments and parks is a bi-partisan issue, and just plain common sense. A long line of Presidents have recognized this.

  • Greg Goodyear

    REI stick to what you know, selling outdoor gear. Yawn.

  • Jane Guzi Macedonia

    Our forests and oceans are literally the lungs of the planet. Even if you don’t care about the natural beauty they provide, you should care about the oxygen and carbon sequestration. Thanks, Mr. Stritzke, for speaking up. Maybe someone will listen to you because you’re a businessman. 🙂

  • Christopher Hagedorn

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to put much faith into deep pocketed companies like REI that are economically motivated. Outdoor recreation is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, outdoor recreation has very real negative impacts on the land as well. Protecting Wildlands is of far greater importance than ensuring the promotion of outdoor recreation. If REI truly wants to protect the wild, provide funding for the protection of Bears Ears from the myriad of new tourists and recreation seekers. Paradoxically, without funding the new NM is likely to do more harm than good.

    • Jeff Bahls

      Chris, you go too far in your criticism. The very people who participate in outdoor recreation are the very ones who are most likely to want to protect it. Encouraging participation through advertising and marketing of good products and how to enjoy these wonders creates a greater population of participants. Sometimes these companies go too far but certainly not this time.

  • Mike Ewald


    “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to
    the next generation increased and not impaired in value.”
    ~Theodore Roosevelt


  • Ontogenesis

    Thank you… glad to shop at REI. Our national lands are one of the best things about our country — we must protect them for future generations against those with short-term gain in mind.

  • David Schmitz

    REI is so full of themselves. I guess they rather have the USA rape and pillage all the other countries for oil so that they can continue to sell the items they do because 90 percent of them are made of oil byproducts.

    • Jeff Bahls

      David, your logic is a bridge too far. If you don’t like the outdoors and wilderness experiences just say so. If you don’t want these areas protected, just say so and give your reasons. Be constructive.

      • muddaholic

        No Jeff…. he is correct. Look at the products REI sells, what they are made of and were they are sourced. This is the real issue … its called hypocrisy. The sell the ” wilderness” but really sell Chinese products made in the worst polluter on the planet.

  • Jennifer Burton

    The scale is different, but when you won’t come to Tulsa unless the city council abandons park land and surreptitiously sells you the property to build a store on at a cut rate, it hurts our city in a similar way.

  • Jeremy Woolf

    Thank you!

  • Mmartin

    “Zinke’s voting record speaks against Roosevelt’s ideals: supporting
    legislation to sell public lands to pay off the national debt, backing
    the transfer of public lands to states, opposing the North Fork
    Protection Act (“I didn’t like that bill… because it took natural
    development out for perpetuity forever”), supporting a bill that would
    turn over Montana’s public lands to developers, signing the Montana
    constitutional plan that includes resolutions to sell public land,
    blocking access to more fishing and hunting on public land, endorsing a
    bill to cut funding to the Habitat Montana Program that benefits
    conservation, increasing resource extraction on public land, and
    defending the federal government shutdown in 2013 that temporarily
    closed Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Naturally, Zinke marched
    into the beginning of this legislation session and voted for a bill to
    devalue public land and make transfer to states or private entities

  • Gerry Gleason

    Why should the federal government be in control of so much land in one section of our republic. Our western states have very little land left for their own use and development. I grew up in Michigan and live in Georgia two states with great state run and in many cases locally run outdoor systems and parks. Just because the federal government manages it doesn’t mean it could be better. I would think Idaho, Colo, Utah and many other western states could manage these lands far better and for less of a drain on the public than the DOI.

    • bonnie


  • Steve Funk

    There is a fundamental constitutional issue in that legislative authority rests with Congress, not the president. National Parks and Wilderness areas are created by Congress. No problem. Trump can’t change that. But with the antiquities act, Congress unconstitutionally delegated its legislative authority to the president. Now, any president has broad discretion to manage public lands in a more preservation oriented fashion, but if one president can create a designation that lasts forever and can’t be undone by the next president, that is an unconstitutional legislation by the executive. But If you can get this congress to make the national monument designations permanent, more power to you.

  • Mandy F B

    If you believe so strongly in park preservation then perhaps you could preserve Helmerich Park in Tulsa, OK, and build your new store on another site. We would love to have you, but we love our park as well. Lands held in public trust must be preserved–please don’t cherry pick the ones you find to be valuable and worthy.

  • Lexi Robertson

    Thank you for standing up for what’s right! I feel very lucky that REI continues to go beyond standard business practices to protect our environment.

  • esolesek


  • Trump wants to give the lands BACK to the people.

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