Patagonia has been in business for 45 years. In all those years, they’ve never felt compelled to make a televised ad. Until now.
This week Patagonia launches the video you see below, in which Yvon Chouinard, the founder, fly fishes a little bit, then sits on a riverbank while reminding us simply and effectively that public lands belong to us. Not to energy companies. Not mining interests. Not to those who would profit at the expense of the wild places that we all cherish more than almost anything else in this world.
Most importantly, they don’t belong to Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, who seems intent on shrinking national parks and national monuments (like Bears Ears in Utah, and Nevada’s Basin and Range, among others) and who dangles constantly the specter of the privatization of crucial National Park Service functions.
Patagonia is running this ad in Zinke’s home state of Montana, as well as other mountain west states with public lands under threat, as a notice to Zinke that the outdoors community is paying attention.
Zinke has said that “our greatest treasures are public lands,”—here’s hoping that he didn’t mean that literally, as in a treasure that can be sold off to the highest bidder.
On August 24th, Zinke will make an announcement about the 21 national monuments that are “under review.” If there was ever time to put pressure on Zinke, and the rest of the Department of Interior to make the right decision to preserve our lands, this is it.