450 Organizations Oppose Efforts to Remove or Decrease Protections for National Monuments

Soda Lake, Carrizo Plain National Monument. Photo © Ron Williams

Today, more than 450 organizations joined forces and submitted a letter to President Trump, Interior Secretary Zinke, and Commerce Secretary Ross expressing deep concerns with recent executive orders to remove or decrease protections for national monuments. The executive orders apply to more than two dozen national monuments throughout the West, including the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

A copy of the letter was also submitted to the House Natural Resources Committee, during a hearing this morning attacking the legal basis of all national monuments. The hearing — titled “Examining the Consequences of Executive Branch Overreach of the Antiquities Act” — was organized by pro-development representatives in Congress and targeted the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law has been used by presidents both Republican and Democrat to designate national monuments and protect public lands of national significance. The law was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt and is now firmly in the crosshairs of the current administration as it seeks ways to open up these lands to development.

The letter and signatories are below. Thank you to The Wilderness Society for taking the lead on the letter, and for all the organizations who signed on.

MAY 1, 2017

President Donald J. Trump
Secretary Ryan Zinke, U.S. Department of the Interior
Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Department of Commerce

RE: Efforts to Repeal or Undermine Protections for Parks and Monuments
May 2, 2017

Dear President Trump, Secretary Zinke, and Secretary Ross,

On behalf of the 450 undersigned organizations and our millions of members across the country, we are writing to express our deep concern with your recent Executive Orders and our unified opposition to any efforts to remove or decrease protections for any national monuments.

Since its enactment over a hundred years ago, the Antiquities Act has been one of our nation’s most critical conservation tools for preserving our nation’s most important public lands and waters.  Our national parks and monuments and other protected public lands and waters unite all Americans by protecting our shared American heritage for future generations to enjoy.  The sheer diversity of historic, cultural, and natural treasures that have been protected by the Antiquities Act is the reason why hundreds of groups representing sportsmen, cultural heritage organizations, evangelicals, conservation, recreation businesses, historic preservation, social justice, and many others all oppose efforts to undermine our national monuments and view an attack on any one national monument as an attack on them all.

Whether focused on the Bears Ears National Monument and the over 100,000 irreplaceable cultural and archaeological resources protected in this landscape or the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument which protected unique and pristine ocean habitats and marine life, or any other monument that protects our cultural, historic and natural treasures, an attempt to undermine protections for these uniquely American places would not only rob the American people of our shared heritage but establish a dangerous precedent that we can no longer trust that park or monument can be considered fully safeguarded for future generations.

The American people, including the millions of members we represent, overwhelmingly oppose efforts to roll back protections for the parks, monuments, marine sanctuaries and other public lands and waters they love.  According to Colorado College’s Conservation in the West Poll, 80% of western voters support keeping existing national monuments protections in place while only 13% of western voters supported removing protections for existing monuments.  This poll reinforces other surveys that document widespread public opposition to congressional attacks on new parks.  In a December 2014 Hart Research Poll, 90% of Americans support the permanent protection of some public lands, monuments, wildlife refuges and wilderness.  Americans want more protected public lands and waters, not less!

We are concerned that this review is a pretense to advance efforts to undermine or strip protections for current national monuments.  This review and the implied effort to roll back our monuments worries those who love our national monuments and the communities that rely on them to power their local economies.  Just this week the Outdoor Industry Association unveiled a study that shows the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in economic activity and is responsible for 7.6 million jobs.  Protected public lands and waters are the backbone of this economy and any effort to introduce uncertainty by implying that the national monuments that drive local economies may not be permanent will hurt those gateway communities and businesses that depend on them.

We believe that any review that is rigorously fact based, includes robust public input and is cognizant of the resources on the ground will undoubtedly show that our National Monuments are beyond deserving of their status and protections and should be safeguarded in their current states for future generations.  We encourage the Department of the Interior to listen to the American people and reflect deeply on the values and resources they are sworn to protect and believe that this can lead to only one recommendation – that our national monuments are treasures worthy of the utmost protection.

Our organizations and the diverse array of members and interests we represent are united in our support for our national parks and monuments.  Our national monuments protect our uniquely American heritage and we stand with the overwhelming majority of our fellow Americans in defending them from efforts to undermine protections for parks and monuments.  We urge you to refrain from any effort to shrink, repeal or otherwise undermine any National Monuments.

Thank you for your consideration.

ACORN Partners in Education
Action Tennessee
African American Nature and Parks Experience
Agua Fria Open Space Alliance
Alabama Hills Stewardship Group
Alaska Wilderness League
Amargosa Conservancy
American Alpine Club
American Association of Independent & Minority Enterprises
American Bird Conservancy
American Rivers
American Sustainable Business Council
Amigos Bravos
Anchorage Audubon Society
Appalachian Mountain Club
Applegate Neighborhood Network
Aquarium of the Bay
Archeology Southwest
Arizona Conservation Partners
Arizona Joshua Tree Forest
Arizona Wilderness Coalition
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)
Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Audubon Society
Audubon Society Alaska
Audubon Society Bedford
Audubon Society Bronx River – Sound Shore
Audubon Society Buffalo
Audubon Society California
Audubon Society Capital Region
Audubon Society Connecticut
Audubon Society Delaware-Otsego
Audubon Society Four Harbors
Audubon Society Genesee Valley
Audubon Society Grand Valley
Audubon Society Great Lakes
Audubon Society Great Salt Lake
Audubon Society New York
Audubon Society North Shore
Audubon Society Northern Catskills
Audubon Society Rhode Island
Audubon Society San Bernardino Valley
Audubon Society Sangre de Cristo
Audubon Society Sierra Foothills
Audubon Vermont
Audubon Washington
Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico
Bad River Watershed Association
Basin and Range Watch
Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters
Bielenberg Historic Pullman House Foundation
Birds of Prey Partnership
Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission
Blue Ridge Env. Def. League – Watauga Watershed Alliance
Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership
Braided River
Brigham Young University Earth Stewardship
Bronzeville Historical Society
Business for Water Stewardship
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
California Coastkeeper Alliance
California Native Plant Society
California ReLeaf
California State Parks Foundation
California Wilderness Coalition
California Wilderness Project
Californians for Western Wilderness
Calumet Collaborative
Calumet Heritage Partnership
Carrizo Plain Conservancy
Cascade Forest Conservancy
Center for American Progress
Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Diversity and the Environment
Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation
Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition
Central Oregon Bitterbrush Broads
Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
Central Westchester Audubon Society
Cesar Chavez Foundation
Chaffee County, Colorado
Chemung Valley Audubon Society
Cherokee Forest Voices
China Ranch Date Farm
Christians For The Mountains
Circle Mountain Biological Consultants, Inc.
Clean Water Action
Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Coloradans for Utah Wilderness
Colorado Canyons Association
Colorado Mountain Club
Colorado Native Plant Society
Colorado Sierra Club
Computer Sprout
Conejos Clean Water
Connecticut Fund for the Environment
Connecticut Land Conservation Council
Connecticut Ornithological Association
Conservation Alabama
Conservation Colorado
Conservation Council for Hawai‘i
Conservation Lands Foundation
Conservation Law Foundation
Conservation Southwest Utah
Conservation Voters for Idaho
Conservation Voters New Mexico
Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund
Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship
Conserve Southwest Utah
Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM)
Craighead Institute
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
Defenders of Wildlife
Diverse Environmental Leaders (DEL) National Speakers Bureau
Dolores River Boating Advocates
Earth Island Institute
Earth Ministry
EarthEcho International
East West Printing, Inc.
Eight Rivers Council
Elders Rising
Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream
Environment America
Environment Arizona
Environment California
Environment Colorado
Environment Connecticut
Environment Florida
Environment Georgia
Environment Illinois
Environment Iowa
Environment Maine
Environment Maryland
Environment Massachusetts
Environment Michigan
Environment Minnesota
Environment Missouri
Environment Montana
Environment Nevada
Environment New Hampshire
Environment New Jersey
Environment New Mexico
Environment New York
Environment North Carolina
Environment Ohio
Environment Oregon
Environment Rhode Island
Environment Texas
Environment Virginia
Environment Washington
Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
Environmental Law and Policy Center
Eric Larsen Explore
Evergreen Mountain Bike
Eyak Preservation Council
Farmington River Watershed Association
Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs
First Unitarian Church, Salt Lake City
Forest Issues Group
Fort Ord Recreation Trails
Fort Stanton Cave Study Project
Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs)
Friends of Agua Fria National Monument
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges
Friends of Basin & Range
Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Friends of Browns Canyon
Friends of Cascade Siskiyou National Monument
Friends of Cedar Mesa
Friends of Gold Butte
Friends of Ironwood Forest
Friends of Nevada Wilderness
Friends of Oregon Badlands Wilderness
Friends of Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks
Friends of Peru State Forest
Friends of Point Arena – Stornetta Lands
Friends of Pompeys Pillar
Friends of Sloan Canyon
Friends of Sonoran Desert National Monument
Friends of the Bitterroot
Friends of the Cheat
Friends of the Cliffs
Friends of the Desert Mountains
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Forest Preserves
Friends of the Inyo
Friends of the Kalmiopsis
Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument
Friends of the Owyhees
Friends of the Sonoran Desert
Friends of the Yampa
Gathering Waters
Geos Institute
Grand Canyon Trust
Grand Canyon Wildlands Council
Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Bozeman Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Footsteps of Leopold Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Grand Junction Chapter
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Great Basin Eastern Nevada Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Northern San Juan Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Reno Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Roaring Fork Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Teton Valley Chapter
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Wasatch Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Willamette Valley Broadband
Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Greenbelt Alliance
Hanalei Watershed Hui
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund
Hawaii Fishing & Boating Association
Hells Canyon Preservation Council
High Country Conservation Advocates
Hills For Everyone
Hispanic Access Foundation
Hispanic Federation
Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors
Historic Pullman Foundation
Hoosier Environmental Council
Housatonic Valley Association
Hui Ho‘omalu i ka ‘Aina
Human Rights Campaign
Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon
Huron River Watershed Council
Idaho Conservation League
Indivisible Ogden
Institute for a Progressive Nevada
International Dark-Sky Association: High Desert Region
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument
Izaak Walton League of America, Headwaters Chapter
Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater
Joshua Tree National Park Association
KAHEA-The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance
Kanawha Forest Coalition
Kaua‘i Albatross Network
Keep the Woods
Kentucky Heartwood
Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center
Land Trust of Santa Cruz County
Landmarks Illinois
Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce
Lassen Forest Preservation Group
League of Conservation Voters
Lee International
Lider Engineering
Loo Wit Group
Los Angeles Waterkeeper
Los Padres ForestWatch
Lost Coast Interpretive Association
Loxahatchee River Historical Society
Lutheran Office of Public Policy
Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Public Health Association
Maine Rivers
Marine Conservation Institute
Mattole Restoration Council
Mendocino Land Trust
Michael Gordon Photography
Milwaukee River Keeper
Mission Blue
Mississippi Park Connection
Mojave Desert Land Trust
Mojave National Preserve Conservancy
Mono Lake Committee
Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund
Montana Wilderness Association
Montana Wildlife Federation
Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance
Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance
Mystic Aquarium
National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Ocean Protection Coalition
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wildlife Refuge Association
Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group
Natural Resources Council of Maine
Natural Resources Defense Council
Natural Resources Defense Council – California
Nature Abounds
Nevada Conservation League
New Hampshire Audubon
New Hampshire Lakes Association
New Hampshire Rivers Council
New Mexico Friends of Utah Wilderness
New Mexico Sportsmen
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
North Carolina League of Conservation Voters
Northern Alaska Environmental Center
Northern Initiatives
Northwest Indiana Restoration Monitoring Inventory
Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservation Research
Ohio Environmental Council
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Onondaga Audubon
Orange County Audubon Society
Oregon League of Conservation Voters
Oregon Natural Desert Association
Oregon Wild
ORV Watch Kern County
OUT There Adventures
Outdoor Afro
Outdoor Project
Outside Las Vegas Foundation
Papahanaumokuakea Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Grp.
Partnership for Responsible Business
Partnership for the National Trails System
Patagonia Area Resource Alliance
Patagonia, Inc
Pathways – Wildlife Corridors of New Mexico
Peaceful Uprising
Penn Center
Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc.
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
Praxis Project
Pride Outside
Project Bobcat
Protection of New Hampshire Forests
Public Citizen
Pullman Civic Organization
Pullman Arts
Putnam Highlands Audubon Society
Quaker Voice
Quiet Use Coalition
Rio Grande del Norte
Rivers & Birds
Rivers Alliance
Rocky Mountain Wild
Salt Lake Indivisible
San Gabriel Mountains Forever
San Gorgonio Wilderness Association
San Juan Citizens Alliance
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council
Sanctuary Forest
Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce
Save The Bay
Save the Sound
Scenic America
Seattle Aquarium
Sempervirens Fund
Shedd Aquarium
Sheep Mountain Alliance
Shoshone Village
Sierra Club
Sierra Club – Hawai’i
Sierra Club – Military Outdoors
Sierra Club – Tennessee Chapter
Sierra Club – Pennsylvania Chapter
Sierra Club – Watauga
Sierra Nevada Alliance
Sky Island Alliance
Soda Mountain Wilderness Council
Soul River Inc.
Southeast Environmental Task Force
Southern Adirondack Audubon Society
Southern California Desert Video Astronomers
Southern Christian Coalition
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Southwest Environmental Center
St. Croix River Association
Surfrider Foundation
Swan View Coalition
Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning
Tennessee Wild
Territory Run Co.
The Bay Institute
The California Chaparral Institute
The City Project
The Dignitas Agency
The Friends of Sparta Mountain
The Mountain Pact
The National Aquarium
The Ocean Project
The Piedmont Environmental Council
The Trail Posse
The Wilderness Society
Torrey House Press
Transition Habitat Conservancy
Trinidad Coastal Land Trust
Trout Unlimited, Illinois Chapter
Trust for Public Land
Tucson Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Tuolumne River Trust
Uplift Climate
Upper Gila Watershed Alliance
Utah Dine Bikeyah
Utah Indivisible
Utah Interfaith Power & Light
Utah Professional Archaeological Council
Utah Rivers Council
Utah State Society and Natural Resources
Utahans Speak Out
Vermont Conservation Voters
Vermont Natural Resources Council
Vermont Public Interest Research Group
Vet Voice Foundation
Voices Verdes
Voyageurs National Park Association
Waitt Foundation
Waitt Institute
Wasatch Mountain Club
Washington Conservation Voters
Washington Environmental Council
Washington Trails Association
Washington Wild
WasteWater Education
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy
West Virginia Land Trust
West Virginia Rivers Coalition
Western Colorado Congress
Western Environmental Law Center
Western Resource Advocates
Western Slope Conservation Center
Western Watersheds Project
Western Wildlife Conservancy
Wild South
Wild Utah Project
Wild Virginia
Wildearth Guardians
Wilderness Workshop
WildLands Defense
Wildlands Network
Wildlife Conservation Advocacy Southwest
Winter Wildlands Alliance
Wisconsin Environment
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
Wyoming Outdoor Council
Yellowstone to Uintas Connection

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