Patagonia recently penned a letter to Congress on behalf of over 100 executives of both large and small outdoor companies. Collectively, these businesses contribute $650 billion to the U.S. economy annually and employ approximately six million people.
In the letter, Patagonia called on Congress and elected officials to protect public lands. Republicans in Congress have proposed transferring public lands to state and private ownership. Patagonia and the alliance of outdoor businesses signing on to the letter oppose these transfers and encourage Congress to safeguard our natural heritage. Patagonia writes:
“It is an American right to roam in our public lands. 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.
Yet as the 115th Congress begins, efforts are underway that threaten to undermine over one hundred years of public investment, stewardship and enjoyment of our national public lands. Stated simply, these efforts would be bad for the American people. They include the potential of national public lands being privatized or given to states who might sell them to the highest bidder. This would unravel courageous efforts by leaders from across the political spectrum up to the present day, including Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.
This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue that affects our shared freedoms. Public lands should remain in public hands.”
Read the full letter and the complete list of outdoor companies signing on to the letter here.