Press Release Aug 27, 2019

Park Supporters Continue to Speak Up and Fight Back for Our National Monuments

These monuments are public lands, meant to be protected for and enjoyed by everybody, not sacrificed for mining and drilling for the gain of a few. 

Washington, DC – This week, the public comment period closed for the Trump administration’s final management plan for the lands inside the illegally reduced boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument. The plan, which only addresses 15 percent of the acres that remain in the original national monument, allows harmful activities such as off-road vehicle use, grazing and potential utility and road developments. The plan also leaves the lands gutted from the monument’s original boundaries vulnerable to oil and gas drilling, mining and other potentially destructive uses, and fails to protect the adjacent Canyonlands National Park and nearby Natural Bridges National Monument.

Last week, the administration also released its final management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, another step toward undermining protections for Americans’ national monuments and other protected public lands. Grand Staircase-Escalante serves as a critical connection to three of our country’s national park sites – Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It shields rock formations and wildlife from harm and provides visitors with opportunities to experience intense quiet and solitude. Despite the monument’s value to the region and the millions of people who have fought to protect it, the Trump administration is recklessly moving forward with a management plan that rolls back decades of protections and green lights more intensive uses, including coal mining and oil and gas drilling.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association:

“NPCA’s founder said a century ago that it is the people who must save their own national parks. It was true then, and it’s true today as hundreds of thousands of them have spoken up to protect Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

“From the moment the Trump administration announced its plans to gut protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, tribal communities and people across America spoke out to defend them and all for which they stand. Their commitment hasn’t faltered.

“These monuments are public lands, meant to be protected for and enjoyed by everybody, not sacrificed for mining and drilling for the gain of a few. NPCA and the millions of people who own these public lands will not stand idly by while the administration attempts to diminish the value, history and cultural significance these places hold. As park supporters have done for a century, we will speak up and fight back.”

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About the National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org/100.