Protect our national monuments
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Bears Ears in Utah. Gold Butte in Nevada. César E. Chávez in California. Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon. Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in the Atlantic Ocean. All these places and many more were designated as national monuments because they contain spectacular natural, archaeological and cultural features that deserve to be protected for current and future generations.
Now the law that protects these iconic treasures is under attack and there are threats to overturn monument designations, opening these lands up to drilling, logging, and mining. We urgently need you to take action.
On April 26, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order calling for the Department of Interior to review sites that are more than 100,000 acres, or where Interior Secretary Zinke determines the designation or expansion was made without “adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.”
The Antiquities Act of 1906 allows presidents to designate national monuments, affording irreplaceable, historic and awe-inspiring landscapes permanent protection from industrial development, looting, vandalism and other harms.
This law should be celebrated, not attacked. But with his Antiquities Act Executive Order President Trump is putting our national monuments on trial so he can put them on the chopping block and one of the first monuments at risk is possibly one of the most culturally significant places in the country: the Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.
Bears Ears’ stunning beauty, reputation as a top destination for outdoor recreation, and benefits to the local economy alone make it worthy of designation as a monument. But Bears Ears is also sacred land to many Native people, home to thousands of archaeological sites, ancient burial grounds, shrines and artworks that are significant to the southwestern tribes represented by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.
The designation of Bears Ears marks the first time in the 110-year history of the Antiquities Act that Native American tribes—the Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Zuni and Ute Indian tribes—have come together to ask a president to designate a national monument.
We can’t let Bears Ears become the testing ground for dismantling the Antiquities Act. An attack on one national monument is an attack on them all. This national monument—and the more than 100 others—are part of what make this land great.
When speaking about this Executive Order, Interior Secretary Zinke said he wanted to give communities a voice in the process, so please urge him to protect the Antiquities Act and defend some of our nation’s most cherished lands and waters.
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