Secrecy surrounds Interior Department’s sham review of public lands

Aug 24, 2017

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado

Mason Cummings, The Wilderness Society
Statement by Jamie Williams, president, The Wilderness Society:

The following statement was released by Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, in the wake of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s failure to release any specific recommendations regarding President Trump’s order to “review” lands protected as national monuments.

“It’s inexcusable that this Administration’s vague pronouncements keep Americans in the dark about decisions that may harm national treasures we all care about. Local communities rightly fear this administration will abolish protections for places that are essential to their economic health.

“This bogus review all along has been a front for a much more ominous, 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.

“While it’s gratifying to see that the Department of the Interior recognizes that millions of Americans – 2.8 million – submitted comments overwhelmingly in favor of leaving these beloved lands protected, now President Trump needs to listen to those voices and leave these protections in place.” 


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 national lands 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”


The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

Contact: Michael Reinemer, 202-429-3949,