Rhea Suh / Natural Resources Defense Council – 2018-04-05 01:12:09
The Largest Rollback of Protected Land in US History
Rhea Suh / Natural Resources Defense Council
(April 4, 2018) — President Trump did the unthinkable and eviscerated protections for two of our most cherished national monuments, Utahâ€™s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.
America has never seen such a devastating assault on our treasured public lands.
Grand Staircase-Escalante was reduced by nearly half and Bears Ears was sliced into two fragments, reducing the original monument’s overall size by an outrageous 85%.
Now, the Trump administration is rushing ahead with disastrous plans that could hand over millions of acres of wildlands and cultural sites to the fossil fuel and mining industries.
When President Trump eviscerated protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, he went down in history for carrying out the largest ever rollback of national monument protections.
Now, just months later, the administration is wasting no time in rushing ahead with disastrous plans that could hand over millions of acres of wildlands and cultural sites in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante to the fossil fuel industry.
The Interior Department is briefly inviting the public to weigh in on how Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments will be managed going forward â€” and we need your help flooding them with letters of resistance.
Submit an official comment now urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to immediately halt the sham planning processes for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante and condemning the administration for stripping protections from these two national monuments.
Trump’s action reduced the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half and gutted Bears Ears National Monument by an outrageous 85%. At the same time, he severed commitments to the Native Americans in the region that would protect cultural treasures.
Where you and I see sacred public lands and cherished cultural sites, the Trump administration sees fossil fuel industry profits. Private emails recently obtained by a court order show that President Trump sold out our national monuments so that oil and coal companies could profit off destroying our public lands.
Make no mistake: Federal law does not give President Trump the power to undo the monument designations of previous presidents. Only Congress can revoke or reduce a national monument, making the current planning processes for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante completely illegitimate.
NRDC’s legal team is on this, challenging the administration in court to save Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and all our cherished monuments. But we urgently need you and other activists to help stop the Interior Department from rushing ahead with a sham planning process that will surely prioritize giving fossil fuel and mining companies access to these national treasures.
Please add your voice to this fight now: Tell Zinke and his Interior Department to stop their assault on our public lands.
The Trump administration also has over a dozen other national monuments on the chopping block, from Cascade Siskiyou in Oregon to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England.
We must do everything in our power to stop the administration from advancing its dangerous agenda. Please send an official comment to Secretary Zinke now demanding that he stop his assaults on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
Americans will defend our national monuments
To: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
Dear Secretary Zinke:
I am outraged by President Trump’s decision to roll back protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments and call on you to immediately halt plans for these illegally redrawn monuments.
President Trump’s proclamations stripping protections for these two monuments are unlawful. The president has the authority to create a national monument under the Antiquities Act, but only Congress can revoke or reduce a national monument.
Rushing forward with management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante before the courts rule on the validity of these proclamations is irresponsible.
Millions of Americans have already voiced their concerns over the president’s proclamations, and they were ignored. Fast-tracking these dangerous plans in the face of this overwhelming opposition represents a troubling disregard for public input.
I urge you to reverse course on your decision to roll back national monument protections and call on you to halt the planning processes for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante until the legitimacy of these proclamations is fully settled by the courts.
Thank you for standing with us at this critical time.
Rhea Suh is president of the NRDC.