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Zion Narrows trail on the Simon Gulch Property in Zion National Park, UT.
Mike Schirf

We’re standing up to attacks on national monuments. Are you with us?

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news lately, you’ll know it’s been a challenging few weeks for the parks and public lands we share.

At Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona, dynamite blasts are shaking the profound stillness of the Sonoran Desert wilderness, as contractors for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol clear a wide berth for a fortified section of border wall.

And earlier this month, the Trump administration’s Interior Department released management plans for contested public lands in southern Utah—permitting drilling, mining, and grazing in places that were once protected as Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments.

A father and daughter stand on an overlook at Indian Creek in Bears Ears National Monument at sunsetPhoto credit: Bob Wick, BLM

In both cases, the administration’s decisions threaten sites sacred to Native American nations, fragile ecosystems, and the wide-open desert wilderness that we all deserve the right to explore and enjoy. So we’re working in Washington, DC, and across the country to defend all of our treasured national monuments from short-sighted destruction.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, a designation conferred in 1976 to honor the land’s outstanding ecological value. But the people with the deepest roots in the borderlands have long known how important this place is:  Monument Hill, where blasting and construction are ongoing, is home to cultural sites and grounds sacred to Tohono O’odham people, who are among many Indigenous nations who trace their ancestry to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Organ Pipe Cactus National MonumentOrgan Pipe Cactus National MonumentPhoto credit: Flickr user billandkent

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

Meanwhile, the Interior Department’s recently released plans for southern Utah are the latest front in an ongoing battle for the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments. Two years ago, the Trump administration slashed Grand Staircase-Escalante by half, and cut Bears Ears down to 15 percent of its original size. Whether Trump’s actions were legal is a question currently making its way through the courts—but that’s not stopping the administration from making these incredible places available for mining, drilling, and development as soon as October 1 of this year, despite years of public protest and dedicated activism from people all over the country.

Keep it public

At The Trust for Public Land, we’ve been working to strengthen and grow our system of national parks and monuments for almost fifty years. Actions that damage these precious places, or interfere with the public’s ability to enjoy them, are wrong. That’s why we support federal legislation that would clarify that—while the Antiquities Act of 1906 grants presidents the authority to establish national monuments—Congress alone has the power to reduce their size or reverse their designation.

ut_publiclandrally_05062017_31A rally for public lands in UtahPhoto credit: Jay Dash

“Slashing the boundaries of our national monuments to hand them over to private interests is an affront to the very concept of our public lands, and undermines the law that created those monuments,” said Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “We must respect and strengthen the Antiquities Act, a law used by presidents of both parties to ensure that all people can get outside and enjoy the national treasures that belong to all of us.”

Do you agree? Take action. We are working tirelessly to protect our public lands from attacks like these, and we need your help: tell Congress you’re with us in calling for permanent protection for Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears, and all of our treasured national monuments.

Comments

mary n
“Slashing the boundaries of our national monuments to hand them over to private interests is an affront to the very concept of our public lands, and undermines the law that created those monuments,”
Claire Perricelli
Public lands belong to all of us, current and future residents of the USA. They are not for the use of industry!
Paula Goodyear
Our Public Lands are protected for the benefit of all the people. Do not allow them to be damaged or diminished for the sake of profits for a few.
Jane Sonne
This must be stopped now!
Tim Hayes
Hands off our public lands. Quit giving them away to special interests--especially mining, logging, and oil exploration.
Howard Kmak
“Slashing the boundaries of our national monuments to hand them over to private interests is an affront to the very concept of our public lands, and undermines the law that created those monuments,” you must at all cost not sell out our national treasures, if not shame on you!
Kathleen L.
Our public lands are just that, PUBLIC. They must be protected from private interests and remain in their natural condition for the public to enjoy.
Trent Adrian
This illustrates the contempt that this administration has for native Americans, as well as the public at large. Trump has probably never visited a national park in his life so he has no appreciation of the deep meaning that they have for millions of Americans.
Laura Kiholm
We need to stop selling off our public lands to the highest bidder. Instead we should respect and strengthen the Antiquities Act, a law used by presidents of both parties to ensure that all people can get outside and enjoy the national treasures that belong to all of us.
ELAINE AND JOHN...
These beautiful places protect our heritage and those of the Indigenous Peoples. They must not be touched!
Gerald Kelly
Leave our national monuments alone. Unlike Trump, they're pleasing to the eye. Not everything should be about making a buck for a bunch of corrupt greedheads.
Mary Zamagni
Protect our unique lands from all who want to exploit them.
Walter Bock
Maintain full protection for all National Monuments including the original Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments. These areas are essential for everyone into the future.
patricia m. hancock
We have seen how lawless this president is in other areas so he believes it is perfectly O.K. to reward his rich cronies with OUR public lands.
Mike Dudley
The public lands in this country belong to the public, not to corporations to exploit them for a profit.
Anonymous
Our connection to nature returns us to our best nature, our humanity. Destruction of nature destroys us.
Ray Martorano
The stupid politicians need to keep our public lands safe an not screw them. Politicians....leave our lands alone
Richard Heckman
Reverse the actions that reduce the size of these monuments.
florette lynn
These lands are precious. We must preserve the for the future.
Richard Heckman
Return these monuments to their original size.
karen t
Another Trumpian dope move, selling off public land space to line the pockets of wealthy builders and developers. Stop the madness.
Judy Schomaker
We set new boundaries on public lands to protect them for our country's good and for the citizens and visitors to share in their splendor. “There is a love of wild nature in everybody.” “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” -John Muir The Antiquities Act of 1906 The Antiquities Act is the first law to establish that archeological sites on public lands are important public resources. It obligates federal agencies that manage the public lands to preserve for present and future generations the historic, scientific, commemorative, and cultural values of the archaeological and historic sites and structures on these lands. It also authorizes the President to protect landmarks, structures, and objects of historic or scientific interest by designating them as National Monuments. The Act grew out of concerns that developed over the course of the last quarter of the 19th century for the preservation of America’s archeological sites and the artifacts and information that they contained. National and regional educators and scientists, including those involved in the developing profession of archeology, joined together in a movement to safeguard sites on public lands being endangered by haphazard digging and purposeful, commercial artifact looting. After a generation-long effort, on June 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law, thus establishing the first general legal protection of cultural and natural resources in the United States. The Act set important precedents, including the assertion of a broad public interest in archeology on public lands, as well as support for the care and management of archeological sites, collections, and information. The act linked the protection of sites and their appropriate, scientific excavation with public programs to care for and provide public interpretation of artifact collections and information from the study of a site and its contents. The Antiquities Act stands as an important achievement in the progress of conservation and preservation efforts in the United States. Its effects are still felt. The Act created the basis for the federal government’s efforts to protect archeological sites from looting and vandalism. It provided a foundation of public policy from which more specific public attention to and preservation of historic places and structures, cultural landscapes, and other cultural resources developed during the course of the 20th century. Today, many different organizations cooperate in diverse partnerships, including governments at the Federal, state, tribal and local levels; professional and scholarly groups; and communities. In shaping public policy to protect a broad array of cultural and natural resources, the impact of the Antiquities Act is unmatched. (NPS-https://www.nps.gov/subjects/legal/american-antiquities-act-of-1906.htm ) We humans are selfish with many things but will never be selfish with our public lands that are open to ALL PEOPLE! (not mining, etc.-for profit)
M Woolley
Do not slash funding for these USA monuments.
Dane Coyer
Once it’s gone it is gone forever. Please keep them protected.
Patricia A Birkner
Save our monuments, national parks AND UNESCO SITES. Trump needs Congress' permission to use these or destroy them.
Andrea
I don't see where anyone needs to disturb or desecrate National Parks, monuments that have been designated for the American Citizens to enjoy!
Andrea
I don't see where anyone needs to disturb or desecrate National Parks, monuments that have been designated for the American Citizens to enjoy!
Robin J Taborelli
This run-around of the law is an affront to all of the citizens of this nation. These lands are our lands not the presidents to sell away. Please help stop these actions that ruin the heritage of indigenous people, cause further climate related changes to accelerate & puts more animals in danger.
Brian Sparks
I am fed up with corporate/political cronyism for private profits and will vote accordingly!!!!
Lore Helena Weber
Our national monuments are our treasures and should be kept intact for future generations.
Brian J Barrett
What about environmental studies regarding the impact of Trump's wall actions ? Isn't Eminent Domain and Condemnation required for these illegal land takings? If we were to place a sign on the wall declaring "The Great Wall of Trump" would he be satisfied ? After all, his goal is a legacy that rivals The Great Wall of China and proclaiming his wall for the ages would almost certainly feed his illegal wall goals and enormous ego.
Cynthia Disanto
destroying natural wonders in our wilderness, this is our heritage, our past and our future. stop trashing our wild places
Katherine Crawford
When it's gone it's gone. To allow one man's venality and ignorance to destroy out national treasures is a crime beyond description.
Victoria smith
pls leave our public lands and our wildlife that inhabits them alone. Lets save these iconic lands for our children and future generations to come. Ty
Elizabeth B. Barnett
As a frequent visitor in the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears in past decades, I protest any effort by the Trump administration to dispose of or inappropriately use these areas. Mining, drilling, and other development are inappropriate uses for these areas. Leave them alone for future generatios.
Didi Magnin
Even as an European, I find Trump's attacks on your National Parks a VERY GREAT SHAME!
S. Urton
National Monuments were set aside to be protected and sustained not exploited. They are a part of our heritage as well as some of the only places left that remain pristine and undamaged by man. For a few to cut their size and try to exploit them for their own gains or the gains of a few is very sad and should be halted. As Emmanuel Kant wrote: "we can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." This can also pertain to his treatment of the land and those creatures living on or in it.
Lois Shubert
We have taken our 7 children to many of the National Parkd and seen many of the Monuments along the way. They must be persrved as they are not disturbed by mining or any other changes.
Ted Proske
I support POTUS Trump almost 100%, but I am incensed about his attacks and proposed sales of public lands such as Nat'l Parks, Nat'L Monuments, and wild lands. Also. I hate to see the EPA remove protections from endangered species,
Lawrence Giesting
Leave these national monuments alone. They belong to the American people, not special interests.
Sandra Goettling
We don’t need the oil, but we do need the parks and protection of sacred lands in them! You are breaking the laws set up for these lands!
Johanna Rohde
What rightfully belongs to the American people—these public lands—treasures—must be held and preserved for the next generation to enjoy.
C Lenihan
I demand that the Antiquities Act, a law used by presidents of both parties to ensure that all people can get outside and enjoy the national treasures that belong to all of us be respected and strengthened. Protect and preserve our national treasures!!!
Diann M
Please, please, please keep our public lands public. Every acre we preserve as open and wild helps the environment, helps the planet and most importantly it helps our wildlife and humanity. Every acre preserved is an acre that helps to clean the air and water...things the life on this planet cannot live without. Plus, it's beautiful to marvel at the beauty that God has created!
Ellet Wilson
We need to protect all of these parks and monuments for the future health and sanity of people in this country.
Jim Farrell
SOME OF MY FAVORITE MEMORIES ARE BEING IN OUR THE CITIZENS NATIONAL PARKS AND LANDS. I HAVE BEEN TO DENALI, BIG BEND, ZION, ARCHES, CAPITOL REEF, GRAND CANYON AND MANY MORE. PLEASE PROTECT.....DO NOT DESTROY OUR...THE CITIZENS.....NATIONAL TREASURES.
James Munter
Is greed more powerful than love for America and the future for our children?
Karen Guma
It has been my great privilege to enjoy our national monuments and public lands, and I want the coming generations to have this opportunity too. Once destroyed, you can't bring them back.
Joyce Vincent
Please do not Continue to destroy that which you did not create or replace.
Theresa Gaunt
Trump has no idea what a national monument is. He has no idea how important public lands are to the people of this country. He is willing to give any and all of the countries monuments and public lands away for the almighty dollar. He has no eye to the future nor does he care what is left to the children and grandchildren of this country. He is devastating our great country. Maybe he should just let all those companies come and do all their mining and drilling on his gold course. Bet he would be appalled.
Joan Tokarz
We must preserve our "public lands" for the American public; they belong to all Americans!!!
Marilyn McCray
Don't destroy our national heritage!
Marilyn McCray
Do not destroy our heritage!
Helen Hawley
Keep private interests, like mining, logging, and oil/gas groups, OUT of our public lands! Once this administration is OUT, we, the people, will reclaim them and sue for the destruction you have created. These lands belong to the PEOPLE--ALL of us--to enjoy and enrich our souls and beings--NOT to moneymen to rape and pillage!
Lynn Moen
Public lands are for the public, not businesses that want to make money off of these lands. Keep public lands protected.
bill kellenbeck
its a shame that we have a president that could care less. he has dismantled our rights on our lands parks and monuments.hes dismantled the epa which was to protect our air land and water all of what took years to protect for every citizen.bears ears and the grand staircase are just the tip of the iceberg hes eying the grand canyon the north artic plainsthat one of our climate zones that play a major in the earths over all health.let alone the species that are teetering on the edge of extinction we are up againgst the billionaire big corp oil gas timber and agriculture and a few more that want to lay waste to our lands ant leave a toxic footprint forever s
Peggy Pedigo
No matter what you plead, no matter the protests or activism, no matter who goes to court for the environment, everything will fail because Trump does not think any law applies to him and he can do whatever he wants and he wants desperately to destroy nature and trees and wild lands and wildlife. He has corrupted the courts with judges who will do as he says. Remember, at his 2016 rallies and probably more recently, he promised to break the back of the conservation movement and destroy the EPA and role back all regulations protecting our parks and waterways and wildlife. He has gutted the Endangered Species Act, and removed farm money given to farmers to leave private wetlands alone for the migratory waterfowl. He has issued thousands of permits to drill the ENTIRE Alaska National Wildlife Reserve and is ignoring scientific environmental impact studies and is urging EPA and Bureau of Land Management to break the laws to ensure this gets started before the election. He is spraying tons and tons of poisons on our food and us and our butterflies and beneficial insects and birds. WAKE UP PEOPLE STOP BEING BRAINWASHED. VOTE HIM OUT. VOTE HIM OUT. VOTE HIM OUT. IT IS OUR ONLY CHANCE. Get rid of TRUMP! It is imperative.
L.D.Zafar
This is the most inept, callous, apprehensible administration in history. These places belong to the American people future and present. Stop eating away at them preserve them forever! What took nature millions of years to perfect can take an ignorant human only minutes to destroy or alter forever. Stop destroying our national parks and monuments for industry and greed better yet get a hobby! Peace and Ecology Now!
Linda
Don’t destroy our national treasures!
Barbara Hegedus
The brazen and endless attempts to destroy our precious natural heritage must be stopped NOW - before Trump obliterates everything Americans are proud of, to ensure profits for the most destructive industries. To call Trump a Philistine is being kind!
Mary Weber
We need to keep these places intact, as is for generations to come
Walter Gerhard
National Monuments have been carved out of our Public Lands because of their great historical, cultural or ecological values and in many cases also because of their exceptional natural beauty. To reduce their boundaries for potential short-term commercial benefits is totally irresponsible.
Carol Ewald
The only way to stop the rape of our public lands by trump is to vote for a candidate who places the utmost importance on preserving our public lands, monuments and wilderness areas. These places are the best of America. We must vote Trump out.
carol ewald
We must vote our disapproval of Trump and his rape of our public lands this election. We need new leadership.

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