As part of a flurry of activity before the 100th day of his presidency, President Trump signed an Executive Order instructing the Department of the Interior to review all national monuments over 100,000 acres designated by previous Presidents using the Antiquities Act since 1996 – with the new monument in Maine thrown in for good measure. This EO puts the fate of our parks and monuments in the hands of Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.
After several weeks of review, Secretary Zinke announced that he will recommend no modifications for Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington. However, he has recommended to President Trump to reduce the size of Bears Ears National Monument, and 23 other national monuments are still under review through President Trump’s executive order.
Though touted by the administration as a simple review, there are serious concerns that it’s just a pretense to advance efforts to eliminate or roll back monument designations. No President has undertaken such a review since the Antiquities Act was created by President Theodore Roosevelt and Congress in the early 1900s. This unprecedented action is clearly an attempt to undermine the Antiquities Act, which protects national and cultural resources for all Americans and has been instrumental in protecting some of our country's most beloved cultural, natural and historical sites. Now, the Interior Department could strip protections from treasured national monuments like the Bears Ears, Rio Grande del Norte, and Grand Staircase-Escalante.
There are some in Congress, too, who have taken up the mantle and introduced legislation that curtails the Antiquities Act and makes it harder to create national monuments and protect our special places.
Tell Secretary Zinke and the Department of the Interior that Americans want all national monuments to be protected for future generations. Take Action now!
SUBJECT LINE: Protect Our Public Lands
Dear Secretary Zinke,
Our national monuments and public lands and waters help define who we are as a nation by telling the story of our historical, cultural, and natural heritage. I am extremely disappointed that President Trump has signed an executive order that could undermine our national monuments and public lands. Attempts to rollback protections for national monuments are terribly misguided and I strongly urge you to reject efforts to eliminate or shrink our national monuments.
[Your comment here]
Additionally, an attempt to attack one monument by rolling back protections would be an attack on them all. Sending a signal that protections for our shared history and culture are not permanent would set a terrible precedent. This would discourage business investment and community growth around all national monuments while also sending the signal that our history and natural wonders are negotiable. National monuments have already been shown to be tremendous drivers of the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy and businesses in gateway communities rely on the permanency of these protections when making decisions about investing in these communities. Our national monuments should remain protected for future generations to enjoy —they are a gift that belongs to all Americans.
I am firmly opposed to any effort to revoke or diminish protections for national monuments. I urge you to support our public lands and waters and recommend that our current national monuments remain protected.
Thank you for your consideration.
[Your Name Here]