The Trust for Public Land Opposes President Trump’s Action to Undermine Long-standing Permanent Protection of National Monuments
Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision today to undermine the Antiquities Act and reduce the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments:
“This decision is a mistake. Undermining our national monument protections is an assault on our most treasured historic and natural wonders, and directly contradicts the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support our public lands. The President’s executive action to reduce the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments is not just a Utah issue—it puts all national monuments at risk. The priceless historic, cultural, and natural wonders of our national monuments are exactly the places and values which should be permanently protected, as Congress envisioned when it passed the Antiquities Act.”
For 45 years, The Trust for Public Land has been the premier leader in protecting land for people. An expert in land preservation and park creation, The Trust for Public Land has contributed to the protection of more than 6,800 acres of national monuments, visited by millions of people annually, as they connect to nature and enjoy the outdoors. These monuments have included projects at Bandelier, California Coastal, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers Boyhood Home, Fort Sumter, Pipestone, Rio Grande del Norte, and Stonewall, demonstrating the depth and breadth of places the Antiquities Act protects and the American stories our national monuments tell. There are 129 such national monuments in existence in the United States today.
Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans support permanent protection of our national monuments. In fact, in the Western states alone, 8 in 10 Americans support keeping existing national monument designations, including 68 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of Independents, and 92 percent of Democrats.
The Trust for Public Land, through the Outdoor Alliance and more than 20 organizations who care about access to public land, wrote to President Trump on November 7 to urge him not to undo existing protections established under the Antiquities Act.
Passed by Congress and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Antiquities Act permanently protects land that is determined to be of significant cultural, scientific, or natural value. Without it, places like the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park would never enjoy the level of protection that enables visitors to experience their majesty today.
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. For more information, please visit www.tpl.org.