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CALIFORNIA — US outdoor clothing brand Patagonia has announced it is endorsing Democrat Senate candidates Jon Tester of Montana and Jacky Rosen of Nevada in its first move into elective politics. The business says it is backing the pair due to their commitments to protecting public lands and waters. The move follows a lawsuit the California-based company filed last year challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to drastically shrink the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

In a statement the company said it is endorsing candidates for the first time this year, “because of the urgent and unprecedented threats to our public lands and waters … it’s about standing up for the millions of Americans who want to see wild places protected for future generations.”

The company suggested Tester and Rosen are champions of public lands and the outdoor sector.

Patagonia is featuring both endorsements on its website and social media, and in customer emails. “Our democracy depends on showing up on Election Day, and our planet depends on leaders who will protect it,” a statement said.

Patagonia CEO and President Rose Marcario said: “[Patagonia is proud to support] Jacky Rosen because she will fight to protect Nevada’s public lands and the vibrant outdoor industry that depends on them. Jacky has a strong record of defending public lands in Congress and protecting our access to clean air and clean waters. We need her leadership to protect Nevada’s economy and the basic health of its people, so the business community can thrive and so Nevadans can prosper. I hope all Nevadans vote in this vital election—and when they do, I encourage them to vote for Jacky Rosen.”

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said: “We are supporting Jon Tester because he gives a damn about protecting public lands—and, like US, he’s committed to fight back against anyone who doesn’t. He goes to work every day for the 95 per cent of Montanans who believe recreation on public lands is a priority, unlike Republicans in Congress who only serve the fossil fuel industry. He also knows something about living off the land—the only organic farmer in the Senate, and the only one bringing the beef he butchers through airport security when he has to travel to DC. Jon is a real advocate for hunters, hikers and Montana’s thriving outdoor economy at a time when threats to clean air, clean water and public land are worse than we’ve ever seen.”

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