Interior recommendations to strip land protections are illegal and dangerous

Aug 24, 2017

Protections for Native American rock art embedded in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument could be threatened by the Secretary Zinke's recommendations. 

Photo by Bock Wick, BLM
Statement by Jamie Williams, president, The Wilderness Society

The following statement was released by Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s comments today that he will recommend to the Trump Administration alterations to national monuments across the United States:

“Any actions that would dismantle these natural wonders would violate Americans’ deep and abiding love for parks and public lands and fly in the face of 2.8 million Americans who expressed opposition to these changes. We and millions of other Americans stand by the belief that those lands should be preserved and handed down to future generations.  We urge President Trump to ignore these illegal and dangerous recommendations and instead act to preserve these beloved places.

This bogus review was all along a front for a much more ominous and well-orchestrated agenda to dismantle America’s natural treasures for the benefit of private profiteers. Sacred places like Bears Ears and other public lands are not commodities to be given away in sweetheart business deals for the fossil fuel and logging industries.

The Wilderness Society, its members and the millions of other Americans who called, wrote and rallied in support of our shared lands will continue to fight to protect these places.” 

On April 26, President Trump signed an executive order that calls for a “review” by the Department of the Interior of national monuments designated since 1996. Both Republican and Democratic presidents have used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to protect federal land with natural, historical or cultural significance. Since the review was announced, millions of comments flooded into the Department of the Interior in support of leaving these places protected.

Additional information, photos and video:
Media resources for Trump administration "review" of national monuments
Dispatches from Monumental America: A Listening Tour
Key-Log Economics report on monument comments, “Assessing Public Support for Public Lands”

Michael Reinemer