Patagonia has been one of the leaders not only in decrying the draconian stance Utah's leadership continues to hold towards public lands, but in taking action to put pressure on the state to put an end to their continuing efforts to privatize and undermine access to public lands and to reverse the designation of the newly-minted Bears Ears National Monument. Patagonia was one of the early voices and amongst the first to walk away from the longtime Utah-sited Outdoor Retailer show, which helped lead to the show's announcement that it would be leaving the state after 2018 after more than two decades of holding its bi-annual show in Salt Lake City. Since then, the company has continued to speak out against the anti-public lands actions of Utah's governor Gary Herbert and those of the state's congressional and senatorial delegations. Today, Patagonia announced the latest in its efforts to help protect Bears Ears through the release of a series of short films introducing viewers to the 1.3 million acre monument and the issues surrounding it.
The films are produced using Google's 360 technology which provides a one-of-a-kind immersive viewing experience. They are intended to be viewed on either a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone and Patagonia notes that they prefer the smartphone experience above all.
“Bears Ears National Monument is a sacred home for Native Americans, a world-class location for rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, and a mecca for archaeologists. But it is also a target for looters, mining and energy companies and elected officials who want to privatize and develop the nation’s public lands,” notes Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s chief executive officer. “It is our hope that this film will help to defend this national monument by bringing it to life and spurring action to protect this American treasure.”
Further illustrating Patagonia's commitment to Bears Ears is the fact that it is backing its support for the films with a TV-ad spot, the company's first ever. Patagonia is underwriting PBS NewsHour and purchasing a digital advertisement on NewYorkTimes.com.
While this may be Patagonia's first foray into TV advertising, it isn't their first foray into film making on behalf of Bears Ears. In 2015, the company released Defined by the Line, a film about climber and conservation activist Josh Ewing and his story of converting a passion for climbing into a passion for protecting Bears Ears.
The new films are insightful and full of breathtaking imagery. As Patagonia notes—wiewers can scan walls adorned with petroglyphs and learn about them from a Hopi archaeologist. They can follow Navajo Elder Willie Grey Eyes as he travels through a narrow slot canyon and tells stories of his ancestors, or climb the iconic North Six Shooter tower with Tommy Caldwell and take in the expansive desert views from above—to view the films, visit Patagonia.com/bearsears.