Interior emails reveal monument reduction was for oil, gas and mining

Mar 2, 2018

Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

copyright Mason Cummings

The Wilderness Society responded to the NY Times story about Department of the Interior emails that revealed Trump’s agenda favoring oil, gas and mining industries was the driving force behind the reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments.

The following statement is from Nada Culver, Senior Counsel and Director of The Wilderness Society's BLM Action Center:

“The newly released emails underscore our worst fears – that Interior Secretary Zinke and President Trump are hellbent on selling out our public lands to reward the fossil fuel industry. They place oil and gas interests above all else when it comes to America’s shared public lands, whether it’s our treasured national monuments, bedrock conservation laws, or even critical resources like clean air and water.”

After just one year in office, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken a jackhammer to time-tested laws and policies like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the sage grouse agreement in Western states, alienating a wide array of groups, including Republican governors, sportsmen, conservationists and tribal leaders.

More on Secretary Zinke’s first year at Interior here.

Contacts:

Andrea Alday, Regional Communications Manager – AZ, NV, Central and Southern CA; andrea_alday@tws.org; 818 512-7628

Michael Reinemer, Deputy Director, Wildlands Communications; michael_reinemer@tws.org; 202-429-3949