Interior Department Recommendations to Strip Land Protections are Illegal and Dangerous

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Statement by Jamie Williams, president, The Wilderness Society

Any actions that would dismantle these natural wonders would violate Americans’ deep and abiding love for parks and public lands and fly in the face of 2.8 million Americans who expressed opposition to these changes.

The following statement was released by Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s comments yesterday that he will recommend to the Trump Administration alterations to national monuments across the United States:

“Any actions that would dismantle these natural wonders would violate Americans’ deep and abiding love for parks and public lands and fly in the face of 2.8 million Americans who expressed opposition to these changes. We and millions of other Americans stand by the belief that those lands should be preserved and handed down to future generations. We urge President Trump to ignore these illegal and dangerous recommendations and instead act to preserve these beloved places.

“This bogus review was all along a front for a much more ominous and well-orchestrated agenda to dismantle America’s natural treasures for the benefit of private profiteers. Sacred places like Bears Ears and other public lands are not commodities to be given away in sweetheart business deals for the fossil fuel and logging industries.

“The Wilderness Society, its members and the millions of other Americans who called, wrote and rallied in support of our shared lands will continue to fight to protect these places.”

Background
On April 26, President Trump signed an executive order that calls for a “review” by the Department of the Interior of national monuments designated since 1996. Both Republican and Democratic presidents have used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to protect federal land with natural, historical or cultural significance. Since the review was announced, millions of comments flooded into the Department of the Interior in support of leaving these places protected.

Additional information, photos and video available:
Media resources for Trump administration "review" of national monuments
Dispatches from Monumental America: A Listening Tour
Key-Log Economics report on monument comments, “Assessing Public Support for Public Lands”

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. http://www.wilderness.org.

Michael Reinemer
Deputy Director, Wildlands Communications
The Wilderness Society
1615 M Street NW
Washington DC 20036
202-429-3949; 703-966-9574 - cell

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Michael Reinemer

Kate Mackay