"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
This week, Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review national monuments protected under the Antiquities Act of 1906 for possible resource exploitation (in short, that’s drilling, mining, and logging).
What’s the Antiquities act? Though it may sound like a law that protects old furniture, it is one of our nation's most important conservation tools. And it has been used to safeguard and protect federal lands, sites of cultural and historical importance, and scientific interest. These national monuments are then overseen and cared for by federal agencies.
Though Zinke’s review will be limited to monuments designated since 1996, and those totaling 100,000 acres or more, it sets a startling precedent. In undermining the Antiquities Act, the Trump administration is tearing away the longest-standing piece of legislation protecting our nation’s natural heritage. Monuments protected under this law include the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park, Acadia National Park, and 154 other breathtaking sites, many of which are sacred and historically significant to Native Americans.
Here is a full list of the 24 monuments that will be under review. There is no legislative process or opportunity for public comment on this decision, but never underestimate the power of public outcry!
1. CALL 202-208-3100 TWEET @SecretaryZinke
Ask him to protect our nation’s irreplaceable historic sites for generations to come. It’s senseless to squander our country’s most treasured natural landscapes for the sake of a quick buck.
USE THIS SCRIPT (feel free to ad-lib, of course)
I am calling Secretary Zinke to ask him to stay true to his own saying that "without question, our public lands are America's treasure." Not treasure to be pillaged by gas, oil, and timber industries, but public lands to be enjoyed by all Americans. I understand this review to be a first step by the Trump administration in rollbacks on monuments, and will be carefully following how Secretary Zinke proceeds over the course of the next 4 months.