DOI decision on Upper Missouri shows monument review is 'haphazard and arbitrary'

Aug 2, 2017
Copyright Mark Lighthiser

The following statement was released by The Wilderness Society regarding today’s Department of the Interior decision to withdraw the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument from the Trump Administration’s “review” of 27 national monuments called for in April. More than 2.7 million comments have been submitted in favor of keeping monuments intact.

Barb Cestero is Senior Regional Representative for The Wilderness Society based in Bozeman:

“Montanans have breathed a collective sigh of relief today, as the Department of the Interior announced that they will be recommending the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument remain unchanged. While we are pleased to hear that The Breaks will be spared, today’s announcement demonstrates just how haphazard and arbitrary the monuments ‘review’ has been to date.”

“The irreplaceable cultural and historical resources, world-class recreation and hunting opportunities of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument absolutely deserve to be protected – as local Montana residents have made clear for decades.  Tens of thousands of Montanans and millions of other Americans spoke up in defense of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument and all the monuments under review.  It is unclear why the storied waters and majestic White Cliffs of the Upper Missouri River Breaks received a reprieve from this unnecessarily damaging review—while other priceless American treasures remain on the chopping block.”

“Montanans care about all of our nation’s public lands and don’t want our fellow Americans to see their community’s history or outdoor heritage compromised as part of this review – whether in New Mexico, Utah or Montana.  Dozens of other monuments contain similarly vital historic, cultural and natural treasures that deserve to be protected.  We urge Secretary Ryan Zinke to listen to the millions of Americans he now represents and end this unnecessary review once and for all.”

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Barb Cestero
406-586-1600, ext 118

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