December 12, 2017
Jeweler Tiffany & Co. is subtly objecting to a recent action taken by U.S. President Donald Trump that would reduce the acreage of two national monuments in Utah.
Last week, President Trump signed an order that would drastically reduce the size of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, designated as such under the Obama Administration. The decision has made headlines because it will be the largest elimination of protected land in U.S. history and is considered by some to be an illegal move by the president.
Prior to President Trump’s announcement, the two Utah national monuments in question were protected by under the National Park Services through an order signed by former President Obama before he left office.
As national monuments, controlled by the federal National Park Services, the land is prohibited from being developed and must remain in the form it was in when designated a landmark by the government.
If Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante and the surrounding land is put under Utah state control it will be much more difficult to ensure that the land remains undeveloped due to budgetary constraints. To fund such a large-scale environmental protection act would be extremely costly because the revenue would need to be derived from Utah state tax rather than being federally funded.
But, if the land is opened to the extraction of natural resources, such as oil or timber, Utah could afford to protect the two naturally formed monuments, albeit to a smaller degree, by charging commodities companies for use of the parkland.
Unfortunately, the areas surrounding Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante will be permanently altered and possibly destroyed, a scenario the National Monument designation prevents, if President Trump's order is not blocked.
The areas in question are also priceless and of great importance to Native American communities who have ancestral ties to the land.
Outerwear brands such as REI and Patagonia have been outspoken against President Trump’s decision on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Patagonia, for example, left a message for its consumers saying, “The president stole your land.” The conservationist and outwear brand also calls President Trump’s actions illegal and has moved to sue the administration.
U.S. jeweler Tiffany, on the other hand, has taken a more subtle approach to its disagreement with the executive action.
On its social media account, Tiffany shared a brief statement in its iconic blue that read, “We believe that our U.S. national monuments, both at land and sea, are irreplaceable natural treasures to be protected forever.”
In its caption, Tiffany stated, “Now is a pivotal time for the protection of public lands and marine protected areas. We must ensure nature’s wonders are conserved for generations to come. #MonumentsForAll.”
Since posting its message Dec. 8, Tiffany has generated more than 26,000 likes and numerous comments.
While the majority of the comments are supportive and in agreement with the jeweler, some read, “Just sell me diamonds. That’s all I want. Not political views,” while others said they would unfollow due to the brand vocalizing its “social justice issues.”
Tiffany became political in May when the Trump administration announced it would postpone meetings in relation to the Paris Climate Agreement.
In its message, the jeweler wrote, "We're still in for bold climate action. Please keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement. The disaster of climate change is too real, and the threat to our planet and to our children is too great."
The jeweler’s message, as well as that of 195 countries who signed the pact, fell on deaf ears. The Trump Administration removed the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement shortly thereafter (see story).