After completing his national monuments review, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued his recommendations to Trump on which should be drastically cut in size. In a stunning lack of transparency, Zinke’s report has not been made public, adding fuel to criticisms about the unbalanced and arbitrary review process. However, as the NY Times reported last week, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monuments are on the short list of 4 monuments being recommended for gutting. However, 60% of Utahns want to see our monuments kept just as they are. 84% want improved access to public lands, which is necessarily diminished when land is not protected and may be sold or leased to private interests, as would happen in both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase. 99.2% of public comments to the DOI opposed any proposal to weaken protections on national monuments.
CALL TO ACTION
- Keep pressure on Trump and Zinke by voicing your support of Utah’s national monuments far and wide on social media and sharing the articles and video below. Call on the White House, Trump and Zinke to make Zinke’s report public and to stay true to their claims of listening to local people, improving access, respecting Tribes and protecting public land from privatization.
- Sign this petition, which you can find on our Petitions, Petitions! page, updated daily.
– Patagonia advocacy video
– LA Times Editorial: “Zinke’s plan for shrinking national monuments belongs in the recycling bin”
– Salt Lake Tribune OpEd: “Zinke leaves San Juan County in Economic Limbo”
– Salt Lake Tribune OpEd: “Utah may be trading a dinosaur wonder for a coal mine”
– Medium article: “Trump administration aims to eliminate 90 percent of Utah park protecting Native American cultural sites”
CALL ON STATE REP. MIKE NOEL TO BE CIVIL
The NY Times quotes Mr. Noel as stating, “When you turn the management over to the tree-huggers, the bird and bunny lovers and the rock lickers, you turn your heritage over.” Mr. Noel’s name-calling is offensive, divisive, demeaning and unworthy of the people and politics of Utah. Remind Mr. Noel that national monument supporters include everyday Utahns of both parties, veterans, religious leaders, scientists, archaeologists, hunters and children as well as outdoor recreationalists, tribes and environmentalists. Pigeon-holing these people as “rock lickers” is inaccurate and belittling. Let Rep. Noel know we expect our politicians to be above name-calling. We should all be able to engage in civil discourse, even when we disagree.
- Contact Rep. Noel to let him know that public lands belong to all Americans, and protecting them protects not only our American heritage but also our history, spirituality, economic opportunity, and ability to access the land we jointly own. Ask Mr. Noel to apologize for his offensive remarks and to use civility when talking about his fellow Utahns, even if he disagrees with them. Be sure to mention if you are a constituent.