Today a long anticipated attack on public lands took place. Two of our nation’s treasures were thrust onto the chopping block with a terrible outcome. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments were dissolved with three monuments a fraction of the size left in the wake of this egregious attack. The Monument Review has been months in the making. The Trump administration has not been transparent with how this review was conducted and has failed to make public the full report resulting from Secretary Zinke’s review.
Taking a step back from the direct assault on the ground in Utah today. The event is an indicator of a much more disturbing problem………the door has been opened. The door to future attacks on public lands has been thrust open wider than ever before.
Of course there will be a battle. A defense has been mounted and it will now engage the judiciary branch of our government. Up until now, there has been this odd waiting period of saber rattling from both sides. But now the deed is done and war has been declared upon our public lands. It promises to be a long intense battle.
What can be done?
Continue the fight. If you haven’t engaged in the battle then now is the time to do so. We Americans are getting it from all fronts now but this is important…….this is permanent. Once a landscape is mined or drilled it’s never the same. The impacts are going to be tremendous in the years to come. The door is open wider now, it’s up to all of us to stand in the way.
• Call your Senator or Representative
• Call Secretary Zinke
• Write a Letter to the Editor
• Support a conservation organization
• Tell your friends
• Pay attention and stay engaged
It’s going to be a long battle but the law and history are on our side. The Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument will continue to stand and defend the Upper Missouri River Breaks, other National Monuments and the preservation of the Antiquities Act to protect our national heritage. An attack on one Monument is an attack on all Monuments.