U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has conducted a review of 27 of America’s protected national monuments. National monuments conserve some of our nation’s most spectacular lands including historically significant archaeological and cultural sites. For more than 100 years, both Republican and Democratic presidents have reserved these lands for future generations under the Antiquities Act. The Grand Canyon was first a national monument before it became a national park and was designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. National monuments are part of our heritage as Americans.
On the recommendation of Sec. Zinke, President Trump took the unprecedented step of removing protections of land within Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (both in Utah). Bears Ears alone contains nearly 100,000 archaeological sites and 85% of the monument’s protected land has been stripped which could potentially open it up to mining, drilling, and other industrial uses. According to a recent national survey, the vast majority of voters oppose the actions taken by the Administration. To be clear, all of the land protected in both monuments was already federally-managed land.