If Donald Trump's picks of fossil fuel executives and climate change deniers to fill his administration were not enough, he is now going after some of America's most pristine and iconic national monuments.
In what he claims will undo a "massive federal land grab," Trump recently signed an executive order directing the Interior Department to review dozens of national monument designations in order to shrink or eliminate them altogether. But the reality is that this is nothing more than a massive giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.1
The Interior Department is currently accepting comments from the public. We must speak out now to stop this handout to the fossil fuel industry and protect some of our nation's most valued treasures.
Tell the Interior Department: Protect our national monuments, not eliminate them
More than a century ago, President Teddy Roosevelt, who designated the Grand Canyon a national monument, signed the Antiquities Act into law giving presidents the broad power to permanently protect American land and other objects of historic or scientific significance. Fifteen other presidents since have used the authority to protect millions of acres of important American land, and President Obama himself created 34 national monuments, preserving over 550 million acres - including sacred Native American sites - for future generations.2 National monuments and parks contribute significantly to local economies, having generated almost $35 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, and they bring in millions of visitors every year.3
Now, Trump will attempt to break a century of precedent and be the first president in history to rescind a predecessor's national monument designations.4 His order stands to upend local communities and hand over tens of millions of acres to his friends in the fossil fuel industry.
In a clear contradiction to White House spin, Trump's unprecedented actions to roll back monument designations are wildly unpopular. Eighty percent of Western state voters polled support keeping protections for existing monuments, and 90 percent of voters overall support permanently protecting public lands for future generations.5,6
CREDO activists played a significant and successful role in urging the Obama administration to designate Bears Ears, Gold Butte in Nevada, and the Katahdin Woods and Waterways in Maine as national monuments. We can't let Trump undo all our hard work and hand over our national treasures to the fossil fuel industry.
Tell the Interior Department: Protect our national monuments, not eliminate them.
Thanks for all you do.
- Mark Hand, "Trump’s order on national monuments decried as corporate ‘give-away’," Think Progress, April 26, 2017.
- Laura Parker, "What You Need to Know About Trump’s National Monument Rethink," National Geographic, April 26 2017.
- National Park Service, Visitor Spending Effects - Economic Contributions of National Park Visitor Spending, accessed May 22, 2017.
- Ellen Koeze, " Trump Might Be The First President To Scrap A National Monument," FiveThirtyEight, April 27, 2017.
- Colorado College State of the Rockies Project, Public opinion polling concerning public lands, accessed May 22, 2017.
- Center for American Progress, Public Opinion on US Energy and Environmental Policy, accessed May 22, 2017.