National Monuments are federal lands that have been given permanent conservation protections due to their “historic or scientific interest.” They include 157 areas in 36 states or territories that contain prehistoric fossil beds, archaeological remnants from indigenous cultures, locations of historic events, and unique biological habitats. Of these National Monuments, 29 have since been upgraded to National Park status, the highest and most esteemed designation that land can receive.
Despite their unique treasures, the Trump Administration is threatening to revert permanent protections from National Monuments and open them to oil extraction, mining, and deforestation. This is an unprecedented, and possibly illegal, attack on permanent land protections everywhere. If successful, it sets a legal precedent to undo protections for all conserved Federal lands, obliterating a more than a century of work to conserve America’s finest landscapes.
Our public lands need your voice now more than ever. Between now and July 10, the Department of the Interior is accepting public comment as part of this review process. You can make your voice heard in several ways:
- You can submit public comments directly to the Department of the Interior;
- You can send a message directly to decision makers at the Department of the Interior including Secretary Zinke and National Parks Service Acting Director Reynolds;
- And you can contact your elected leaders in Congress, expressing your opposition to the reversal of any Federal land conservation protections.
With each message you send, we encourage you to add your personal story about visiting a National Monument. Openlands adamantly opposes any effort to curtail protections for conserved federal lands.