In a late Friday afternoon announcement, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced his plans to recommend no changes to Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in a final report due to President Trump later this month.
The following statement is from Mike Quigley, Arizona State Director for The Wilderness Society:
“Secretary Zinke came to the obvious conclusion in recommending no modifications to Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument but it is unfortunate that there’s still uncertainty for many other areas that are equally deserving of such protection. This includes Vermilion Cliffs, Sonoran Desert and Ironwood Forest national monuments in Arizona, as well as many others across the country.
The slow-trickle of information about the future of America’s national monuments threatened by the President’s April 26th executive order again highlights how dis-jointed the Interior Department’s process is. It's unclear how this 'review' process came to be or how it's fairly assessing individual areas and listening to public input. The sooner this exercise concludes with the realization that no changes should be made to already-protected lands, the better.
Arizonans and our fellow Americans support national monuments for preserving our natural, cultural and historical heritage. National monuments are national assets and Americans want more of them, not less. There is an expectation that Secretary Zinke will fulfill his obligation to protect America's public lands for future generations—he should end this farce.”