Local national monuments now also at risk

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It is a tragic day as President Donald Trump orders unprecedented attacks on the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

For over 120 years, Democrat and Republican presidents have designated National Monuments under the Antiquities Act passed by Congress in 1906, building an integrated organization of special protected places enjoyed by millions of Americans and visitors from around the world. Our National Monuments protect Native American cultural sites, and scientific and historic objects such as the unique evidence of plate tectonics found throughout the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

Andrew Fulks, president of Tuleyome, a regional conservation organization based in Woodland, said, “National Monuments preserve our shared national heritage and are monuments to the unique landscapes and objects that make this country great.”

Trump undertook a “review” of National Monuments designated over the past 20 years from Grand Staircase-Escalante designated by President Bill Clinton to Bears Ears designated by President Barack Obama. Over 2.8 million comments were submitted by the American people of which 99 percent strongly supported our national monuments as they are.

Fulks also said, “Trump’s actions which will be found illegal under the Antiquities Act, are the opposite of what millions of Americans desire: continued protection of our shared heritage.”

In 2015, we celebrated the successful establishment of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. It was the realization of over six years of community effort to protect this special place.  Now, this local monument is also at risk.”

It is clear that an attack on one monument is an attack on all. We will continue to protect all of our National Monuments.  It is the will of the American people.

BOB SCHNEIDER

Senior Policy Director, Tuleyome

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