- The Washington Times - Friday, December 15, 2017

House Republicans on Friday offered a top critic of President Trump’s decision to trim two national monuments the chance to testify before a key committee, saying that all viewpoints in the contentious debate deserve to be heard.

Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican, sent a letter to Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and said the outspoken environmentalist and public-lands advocate should appear before Mr. Bishop’s Natural Resources Committee.

“There is much public interest in this matter. It is apparent through multiple media accounts and appearances that you have strong feelings on the topic as well,” Mr. Bishop said. “The committee believes that major public policy decisions involving millions of acres of public land should be discussed, debated, and considered in the light of day. … Open discussion and debate in Congress is the best venue for the public policy debate on land management policy to occur.”

Mr. Chouinard used his company’s website last week as a platform to protest Mr. Trump’s decision to dramatically cut the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. For days after the president’s announcement, the Patagonia homepage included the message: “The President Stole Your Land.”

The company also signed on to lawsuits challenging Mr. Trump’s legal authority to cut national monuments.

“The administration’s unlawful actions betray our shared responsibility to protect iconic places for future generations and represent the largest elimination of protected land in American history. We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts,” Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s president and CEO, said shortly after the president announced the monument cuts during a speech in Salt Lake City.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Patagonia said no decision has been made on the invitation.

“We first learned of this invitation through press reports. We are reviewing the invitation now and will get back to the committee as soon as we are able,” said Corley Kenna, a Patagonia spokesperson.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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