Today, National Trust CEO and president Stephanie K. Meeks issued a statement in response to Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recently disclosed National Monument recommendations. Read the full statement here.
We learned recently that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended reducing the size of the monument, but has also extended the public comment period on Bears Ears until July 10 to match the comment period for other national monuments.
This means our fight to advocate for our nation’s precious natural and cultural landscapes is not over.
Executive Order 13792 specifically instructs the Department of Interior to review sites designated since 1996 that are more than 100,000 acres in size, or where Secretary Zinke determines the designation was made without adequate public outreach or support. The list of sites ranges from Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado to Arizona's Sonoran Desert.
These national monuments represent places of national significance and tremendous economic value to their local economies. Questioning the intent and integrity of efforts to protect these places is an affront to the American people and future generations.
Let’s keep the drumbeat going. Join us in telling Secretary Zinke that these places, so treasured by our communities, deserve full protection as national monuments.
On May 26, a coalition of organizations including the National Trust announced that more than 685,000 comments were collected in support of Bears Ears National Monument. The comments were submitted to regulations.gov as part of the April 26th Executive Order reviewing certain monument designations under the Antiquities Act. (Note that batch uploads may not reflect the full number of comments, due to the how the federal government tracks comments on regulations.gov.)
National Trust for Historic Preservation President and CEO, Stephanie Meeks submitted separate comments to Secretary Zinke from the National Trust for Historic Preservation regarding the review of national monuments, specifically Bears Ears National Monument.
Written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument were due May 26. Secretary Zinke will present a recommendation to President Trump by June 10. Comments regarding the remainder of the National Monuments under review will be accepted on regulations.gov until July 10, 2017, 11:59 PM ET.
As part of the Trump Administration’s review of national monuments created since 1996, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is seeking public input on the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Join us in speaking up for the 12,000 years of history written throughout this sacred landscape.
Bears Ears is home to an unparalleled collection of tens of thousands of cultural and archeological sites, from hunting camps, cliff dwellings, and prehistoric villages, to petroglyphs and pictographs from Native Americans dating back to the Ice Age. This cultural landscape holds the history and prehistory of our nation in a way books and classrooms cannot.
While Bears Ears may not have the name recognition of Arches, Zion, or Canyonlands National Parks, its resources are arguably just as amazing. Imagine if the government acted to remove protections from those beloved parks, leaving them vulnerable to fossil fuel extraction, looting, or overuse.
We have only a small window of time to influence the Administration’s thinking on Bears Ears. Please submit your comment by May 26 and help us send a strong message to the Department of the Interior: We must protect Bears Ears. To help you add your voice to the cause, we’ve created a sample message that you can customize with your own words.
The Bears Ears National Monument was just dedicated in December 2016, but could be threatened under the new administration. In Preservation magazine's Spring 2017 issue, managing editor Meghan Drueding explains the current situation. Read the full article here.
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