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The Conservation Alliance Funds Legal Challenges to Trump Assault on National Monuments

The Conservation Alliance Staff, left to right: Kirsten Blackburn; Josie Norris; John Sterling and Serena Gordon.

The Conservation Alliance made a $75,000 grant to Earthjustice today, supporting the organization’s legal challenges to President Trump’s unprecedented changes to national monument boundaries. The grant is the largest contribution The Conservation Alliance has ever made to one organization, and will support litigation aimed at halting changes to national monuments throughout the Western US.

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order that attempts to shrink the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. His order reduces Bears Ears by 85 percent, and cuts Grand Staircase-Escalante in half. Within hours, Earthjustice filed suit to defend Grand Staircase-Escalante, and plans to file in support of Bears Ears later in the week. Earthjustice is representing eight organizations charging that the president violated the 1906 Antiquities Act by stripping monument protections from these national treasures.

“President Trump is attempting what could be the largest rollback of public lands protections in American history by axing the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments,” said Heidi McIntosh, Earthjustice’s managing attorney in the Rocky Mountains region. “But his proclamations are illegal. And they will be met by a roar of disapproval from the American people who love these lands and who stand by the Native American tribes for whom these lands are sacred.”

The Conservation Alliance invested heavily in the organizations that led the effort to secure national monument designation for Bears Ears and nine other monuments during the Obama Administration. Each of these landscapes has significant outdoor recreation, cultural, wildlife, and scientific value. President Trump ordered a review of national monuments earlier this year, during which three million Americans submitted comments. More than 99 percent of those comments urged President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to leave all monuments under review unchanged.

“The President has chosen to ignore millions of Americans to put at risk two places he has never seen,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “We are proud to protect our investment in these landscapes by supporting Earthjustice’s efforts to challenge this assault on our public lands.”

In addition to defending Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Earthjustice is prepared to go to court to defend national monuments in New Mexico and California. The law firm is already engaged in litigation to protect Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon.

“In this reckless assault on our shared natural heritage, the President is proposing to remove protections for wildly popular National Monuments that drive local economies and hold great concentrations of Native American antiquities, stunning recreation opportunities, and areas with unique scientific value,” said Sterling. “Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are exactly the kind of landscapes the Antiquities Act was intended to preserve.”

This grant comes from The Conservation Alliance’s new Public Lands Defense Fund, a special fund designed to make emergency grants to organizations working to defend the integrity of our public lands system. The Conservation Alliance established the Public Lands Defense Fund in January, 2017 with contributions from Patagonia, The North Face, Arc’teryx, GU Energy Labs, KEEN Footwear, Ruff Wear and Ibex Outdoor Clothing. Together, these companies have contributed more than $270,000 this year to support efforts to defend public lands. The Conservation Alliance welcomes additional contribution to grow this fund.

The Conservation Alliance Responds to President Trump’s Unprecedented Attack on National Monuments

Citadel_Ruin_BLM_photo_by_Bob_Wick

Today, President Trump launched an unprecedented attack on America’s public lands. In a move that favors short-term profits for extractive industries over Native American cultural heritage and a sustainable outdoor recreation economy, Trump signed an executive order that attempts to shrink the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. His order reduces Bears Ears by 85 percent, and cuts Grand Staircase-Escalante in half. Like many of President Trump’s executive orders, this one is likely illegal, and will immediately be challenged in court by Native Americans, conservation organizations, and outdoor recreation interests. The Conservation Alliance opposes any attempt to reduce the boundaries of existing national monuments by executive action, and is prepared to fund legal challenges to this assault on or national and natural heritage.

When President Trump ordered a review of national monuments earlier this year, we supported efforts to show how strongly local citizens and businesses support both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. During the national monument review, three million Americans submitted comments, more than 99 percent of which urged President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to leave all monuments under review unchanged.

At the behest of Utah’s political leadership, the President has chosen to ignore millions of Americans to put at risk two places he has never seen. It is no coincidence that Trump ordered the dismantling of two of Utah’s most iconic national monuments just days after Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, ushered the tax cut bill through the Senate. In this reckless assault on our shared natural heritage, the President is proposing to remove protections for wildly popular national monuments that drive local economies and hold great concentrations of Native American antiquities, stunning recreation opportunities, and areas with unique scientific value. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are exactly the kind of landscapes the Antiquities Act was intended to preserve.

President Trump’s action is part of a broader attack on our public lands by Congress and the White House; an attack that we expect to play out over the next year. The Conservation Alliance will work closely with our member companies and our partners in the conservation community to respond to this and any subsequent attempt to undermine our special wild places. We will use our Public Lands Defense Fund to fund grassroots conservation groups in their efforts to defend our public lands. And we will continue to organize our member companies and their employees and customers to speak out forcefully in support of our public lands.

Since President Trump and Secretary Zinke launched their national monument review, our member companies and their employees have joined an unprecedented movement in support of public lands. That movement is only growing, and we will continue to stand strong as we defend our national monuments now, and make plans to secure new protections for public lands in the future.

If you want to join the effort to support our national monuments, here are three actions you can take today:

  1. Join the effort to establish a Bears Ears Visitors and Education Center in Bluff, Utah. Friends of Cedar Mesa, a longtime Conservation Alliance grantee and local Bears Ears conservation nonprofit, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to build a center to educate and inspire the ever increasing visitation to the Bears Ears region.
  2. Continue to stand up for our national monuments. Visit http://monumentsforall.org/action/ for suggested social media messages.
  3. Remain engaged, motivated, and passionate. We will continue to share updates and opportunities for engagement through our channels. Please sign up for our e-newsletter to be informed of these opportunities.

Arc’teryx to Donate 100 Percent of Proceeds on Giving Tuesday to the Public Lands Defense Fund

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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Photo by Florian Schulz

Recognizing the urgent need to defend public lands in the US, Arc’teryx will donate all proceeds from US e-commerce sales on Giving Tuesday to The Conservation Alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund.

The Vancouver, BC-based manufacturer of outdoor performance apparel and equipment is a long-time member of The Conservation Alliance, and is committed to preserving open lands and waterways, providing important habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities.

The Conservation Alliance established the Public Lands Defense Fund (PLDF) in January, 2017 to safeguard the integrity of our public lands in the face of dramatic proposals at the federal and state levels that would undermine those lands. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, all proceeds from net U.S. online sales at arcteryx.com will be donated to this cause to protect at-risk wild spaces and conservation laws.

“We support conservation projects not only in Canada, but around the world. The need to protect the public lands system in the U.S. is at a critical point in time. As industry leaders, it is our responsibility to step up for our community and the environment in which we exist,” Arc’teryx GM/President, Jon Hoerauf said. “We want our customers to channel their purchase into protecting public lands, and we want them to know that Arc’teryx stands with them in our commitment to defending wild spaces and making efforts to preserve the systems that keep them wild.”

Through the PLDF, The Conservation Alliance will contribute more than $250,000 in 2017 to organizations working to: 1) defend existing national monuments; 2) preserve our core environmental laws; and 3) prevent the transfer of public lands to the states or to private ownership.

“Public lands in the US have never been more threatened than they are right now.” The Conservation Alliance Executive Director, John Sterling said. “Arc’teryx is making a bold move, giving their customers the opportunity to support public lands protection during the holiday season, and putting their values above profit”

Trump Says He’ll Shrink Utah National Monuments in December


Photo: Tim Peterson

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, President Trump told Utah Senator Orrin Hatch that he will change the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in December. The President plans to travel to Utah to make a formal announcement about — and presumably to sign an executive order that would instigate — the boundary changes. Any attempt to shrink the monuments will immediately be challenged in court.

In August, after an unprecedented review of national monuments, Interior Secretary submitted a report to Trump recommending unspecified boundary changes to six National Monuments and management changes to another four. The President has yet to take action on Zinke’s recommendations, but his call to Senator Hatch indicates that he is ready to take that next step.

This slow train wreck started in April, when Trump issued the order launching the monument review, and it looks like the cars will collide in December. The Conservation Alliance and our member companies have worked vigorously to demonstrate support for National Monuments, and to oppose any changes to their boundaries. Nearly three million Americans commented during the review period, 99 percent of which urged Trump to leave these special protected areas alone.

Native Americans, conservation and recreation groups, and outdoor businesses are prepared to sue Trump if he attempts to shrink the monuments, and The Conservation Alliance will make grants from our Public Lands Defense Fund to support this litigation. Ultimately, the courts will decide if the President has the authority to change monument boundaries, and 121 law professors clearly believe he does not.

But, Trump seems intent on ignoring overwhelming public sentiment and legal opinion to serve Utah’s political leadership, and specifically Senator Hatch, chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Trump’s top priority is to sign legislation that would issue $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, mostly to wealthy Americans and corporations. That legislation will need to pass through Senator Hatch’s committee. A cynic might conclude that Trump’s monument efforts are merely transactional; aimed at ensuring Senator Hatch is on his side with tax reform.

We will continue to keep you all posted as this issue evolves. Know that we stand by our National Monuments, and will do all we can to ensure our members’ voices are heard.

National Monument Update: New Legislation Would Gut the Antiquities Act

The Citadel, Bears Ears National Monument, UT Photo: Bob Wick, BLM

Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, introduced legislation yesterday that would eviscerate the Antiquities Act. Bishop’s bill, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (HR 3990), would: impose size restrictions on National Monuments; eliminate natural or geologic features as objects that qualify for protection; require county and state approval for any National Monument over 10,000 acres; and give the President unprecedented authority to shrink existing National Monuments. If it passes, HR 3990 will invalidate the Antiquities Act as an important tool for conservation, and put all existing National Monuments at risk.

The House Natural Resource Committee will vote on HR 3990 tomorrow, Wednesday, October 11th at 4 PM EST. Please call your representative in the House at 202.224.3121 and let them know that you oppose HR 3990. Tomorrow’s vote is only the first of many steps required to pass this bill, but it is important that we send a message to our members of Congress that we oppose this misguided proposal.

For more than a century, the Antiquities Act has given presidents the authority to preserve special places for their cultural, archaeological, biological, and scientific values. Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Arches, Capitol Reef, Grand Teton, and Zion National Parks were all first protected as National Monuments, an later upgraded to park status. Since President Theodore Roosevelt signed it into law in 1906, 16 presidents from both parties have used the Antiquities Act to designate National Monuments, which have become some of our most important landscapes for outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat. Chairman Bishop’s proposal would halt this 100-year history of bipartisan work to preserve America’s natural and cultural heritage.

By including language to give presidents the authority to change the boundaries of existing National Monuments, Bishop’s bill concedes that President Trump does currently have that power. Earlier this year, Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 27 National Monuments to determine whether some of their boundaries should change. Trump is expected to attempt to shrink four National Monuments, including two in Bishop’s home state of Utah. Any attempt by Trump to reduce the size of monuments will immediately be challenged in court, and a group of 121 leading conservation law experts agree that he will lose. During that monument review, 2.8 million Americans submitted comments, and 99 percent of those comments urged Trump to leave our National Monuments alone. Bishop’s bill ignores the fact that the vast majority of Americans love their National Monuments, want them unchanged, and want future presidents to have the same authority to protect more lands and waters for future generations.

Bishop’s bill is the latest in what we expect to be a steady stream of attacks on our conservation laws and our public lands system. If you care about public lands and outdoor recreation, we ask that you call your House representative at 202.224.3121 and let them know you oppose HR 3990, and any other effort to undermine the Antiquities Act.

All Hands on Deck for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Take 1

Photo: Florian Schulz

 

Last week, the US Senate released its budget plan for 2018, which proposes opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling to help pay for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. Senate Republicans, who have long sought to open America’s most pristine wilderness to oil rigs, are cynically using the budget process to win approval for Arctic drilling, which would never pass through normal order. Why? Because according to the Senate’s terribly confusing rules, a budget bill requires only 51 votes to pass, and cannot be filibustered. (Filibuster: an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly.) Any other effort to approve drilling in the Arctic would require 60 votes, which has proven impossible for over three decades. So, with 52 Republican seats in the Senate, and the tie-breaking vote in the hands of Vice President Mike Pence, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has never been more threatened. The House of Representatives’ version of the budget also includes Arctic drilling.

We can stop this assault on our most remote and wild natural landscape – but we need to act quickly.

Senate Democrats overwhelmingly oppose Arctic drilling, and a small number of moderate Republicans are either undecided or think the budget process is an inappropriate venue to decide whether to despoil America’s great wildlife refuge.

We have two opportunities to protect the Arctic Refuge from oil rigs: 1) Ask our Senators to strike Arctic drilling from the budget bill, and 2) If #1 fails, ask our Senators to vote down the entire budget bill.

1. Convince the Senate to strike the drilling provision from the budget bill.

How?

PHONE CALLS! Please make eight important phone calls, TODAY.
As early as the week of October 16th, the Senate will consider amendments to the budget bill that would remove the Arctic drilling provision. Between now and then, we need to do everything we can to ensure Senate Democrats support that provision, and we need to convince three Senate Republicans to join them.

Please call your own Senators with this message (202.224.3121): I was incredibly disappointed to hear that the Senate intends to use the budget process to try and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. I oppose any bill that would open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. Specifically, please keep drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge out of the budget process.

Most importantly, give these Republicans a call with the same message:

  • Susan Collins, Maine – (202) 224-2523
  • John McCain, Arizona – (202) 224-2235
  • Lindsay Graham, South Carolina – (202) 224-5972
  • Cory Gardner, Colorado – (202) 224-5941
  • Jeff Flake, Arizona – (202) 224-4521
  • Dean Heller, Nevada – (202) 224-6244

SOCIAL MEDIA! Join us in a social media day of action for the Arctic on Thursday, October 12th.

If you haven’t already, sign-up for Promoboxx – it’s a wonderful tool that allows Conservation Alliance members to share curated content from us, with a single click of a button. Signing up is simple, just visit conservationalliancecontent.com. Promoboxx is home to a complete Arctic Refuge social media toolkit. We are encouraging our community to join us in a social media day of action for the Arctic on Thursday, October 12th.

Not on Promoboxx but want the Arctic content? Email Kirsten at kirsten@conservationalliance.com

2. If we can’t get it out of the budget, convince 51 members of the Senate to vote against the entire budget bill.

If the amendments fail, we will have one final chance to protect the Arctic Refuge from oil drilling. That would require that 51 Senators vote no on the budget. The same moderate Republicans will be the targets under this scenario, with the addition of Bob Corker (Tennessee), Lamar Alexander (Tennessee), and Rob Portman (Ohio). (If you want to include Corker, Alexander, and Portman in your calls right away, you get extra credit. We just thought it was a lot to ask people to make 11 phone calls).

You will hear from us several times as this process unfolds. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been in the crosshairs for nearly 40 years, and this is the greatest threat it has faced to date. Drilling proponents came close to opening the Refuge to drilling in 2005, but our community of outdoor enthusiasts, businesses, and conservation groups succeeded in fending off that threat. To succeed again, we need everyone to step up like never before.

Thank you for your participation in this important effort.

We are proud to report that to date, 90 of our members and recreation organization friends have joined us in a letter to Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, asking them to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge out of the budget. Don’t see your name? Add your voice here: https://goo.gl/forms/AeQglhJicRVqmfTD2 

 




Beyond National Monuments: The Conservation Alliance Priorities

Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service

President Trump’s unprecedented review of National Monuments has dominated our communications this year, and for good reason. We invested a lot of our members’ funds in efforts to secure many of these monument designations. But, preserving our existing National Monuments is only part of our conservation agenda. We take a defensive stance when necessary, but our top priority has always been to secure new protections for special wild places. And that’s exactly what we’re doing concurrently with our defensive efforts on National Monuments. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ll be working on for the remainder of 2017 and into 2018.

  • Conservation Legislation: Members of Congress have introduced 11 separate bills that would secure new Wilderness, National Monument, and Wild and Scenic River designations, and put special places off limits to any mining activity. These bills would permanently protect special wildlands in Washington, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Tennessee, California, Arizona, and Alaska. We expect additional legislation to be introduced this year that would preserve Wilderness and rivers in Colorado, Idaho, and California. We are excited to see that two of these bills – protecting 20,000 acres of Wilderness in Tennessee and 100,000 acres of steelhead habitat in Oregon – are included in a bipartisan Energy and Natural Resources bill, which has already had a hearing in the Senate.
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund: That same package of Energy and Natural Resources bills includes a provision that would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is set to expire in 2018.
  • Federal Land Management Planning: Despite the chaos in Washington, DC, our land managing agencies – the Forest Service and BLM – continue to develop new plans for the lands under their management. This management planning is open to the public, and provides an opportunity for our grantees and their supporters to influence how those lands are managed for the life of that plan, usually 20-25 years. Our funding is supporting organizations working to secure new protections through management plans in North Carolina, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Montana, and California.
  • Private Land Acquisition: With dysfunction in Congress and a White House hostile to conservation, we have invested more of our funding in private land acquisitions. These projects generally do not rely on action from Congress or the White House, and give us the opportunity to support meaningful conservation until the politics for conservation improve. We are monitoring acquisition efforts nationwide. Please check out our grants page for a summary of these exciting efforts.
  • Oh Canada!: The Conservation Alliance funds projects throughout North America, which gives us the latitude to support exciting conservation work in Canada where there is less political resistance to protecting land and waters. Our grants are at work to protect the Peel River Watershed in the Yukon Territories (14 million acres), Thaidene Nene in Northwest Territories (7.4 million acres), the Magpie River Watershed in Quebec (400,000 acres), the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, and the Bighorn Wildland in Alberta (2.7 million acres), and the Flathead Valley in British Columbia (100,000 acres). The landscape-scale protection opportunities in Canada are huge, and we are excited to help these projects cross the finish line.
  • Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Our new National Monuments are not the only places that are under attack from Congress and a willing Trump Administration. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is once again in the crosshairs as members of Congress seek to open the Refuge’s embattled Coastal Plain to oil drilling. Before the end of 2017, we expect Congress to include Arctic drilling in the complicated budgeting process, which requires only 51 Senate votes to pass. We will work with our member companies to urge Congress to keep the Arctic drilling proposal out of the budgeting process.

As you can see, we are busy on many fronts, challenging efforts to remove protections for special wild places, while supporting efforts to secure new protections. As always, we thank all of our members for participating in these efforts. Together, we are committed to Keeping it Wild!

Zinke’s Bad Advice to Trump: A Summary of the National Monument Review Recommendations

 

The Washington Post reported this week that it had received a copy of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s report to President Trump in which he recommends diminishing the protections for ten National Monuments, including shrinking the boundaries of six of those places. The report is the product of an unprecedented four-month review of 27 National Monuments — ordered by President Trump in April — to determine whether some of their boundaries should be changed. Zinke submitted his recommendations to Trump on August 24th, but did not make the report public.

In the report, Zinke makes the case that the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments in Utah, Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon, and Gold Butte in Nevada be reduced. He also recommends shrinking two marine National Monuments – Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll – both in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. Zinke does not specify whether those changes should be made by the President or by Congress, and the report does not identify exactly how the monument boundaries should be changed.

In addition to the boundary changes, the report recommends that the management of all ten monuments permit activities that are currently restricted. Such activities would loosen constraints on logging, grazing, and commercial fishing in the protected areas. These management changes would impact the monuments recommended for size reductions as well as Organ Mountains Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments in New Mexico, Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off the coast of New England.

President Trump has yet to take any action on the recommendations, so nothing has changed since Zinke first submitted the report to the President on August 24th. We stated then that any attempt to change National Monument boundaries by executive action would be an unprecedented assault on the crown jewels of our public lands system.

After reviewing the full report, it is clear that Secretary Zinke is giving his boss bad advice. Changes to these ten monuments would not only undermine our national conservation legacy, but impact local communities that rely on these protected places to drive tourism and outdoor recreation. We are prepared to use our grant program to fund litigation challenging boundary changes made by executive action; we will support grassroots conservation groups that work to organize opposition to legislative efforts to shrink monuments; and we will continue to organize our member companies and their employees and customers to speak out forcefully in support of our public lands.

The report notably depends on inaccuracies and falsehoods as it makes the case for shrinking or changing the management of National Monuments. Those fictions are well-documented in a good OutsideOnline article published this week. News outlets have started to pick up on Zinke’s shaky relationship with the truth, including this editorial from the Medford Mail Tribune, the largest newspaper near the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Now that the report is public, we wait until President Trump takes action on the recommendations. At that point, he will either take executive action to change the monuments in question, or punt the whole thing to Congress, or do a little of both. We will continue to update our members as the National Monument situation evolves.

The Conservation Alliance Responds to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s National Monument Review Summary Report

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today submitted a report to President Trump in which he reportedly recommends that the President alter the boundaries of some National Monuments designated since January 1996. The Interior Department did not release the full report, and provided no specifics about which monuments would be impacted, but Secretary Zinke told the Associated Press that the recommended changes would reduce the size of a “handful” of the protected areas. Zinke also told the AP that the report does not recommend rescinding any National Monument designations entirely.

“Secretary Zinke has been telegraphing for months that he would recommend shrinking some National Monuments,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “If President Trump acts on those recommendations, it would be an unprecedented assault on the crown jewels of our public lands system. We stand ready to defend our National Monuments.”

“The Conservation Alliance opposes any effort to change the boundaries of existing National Monuments through executive action,” said Sterling. “The monuments under review are icons of our American landscape. They provide unique opportunities for adventure and solitude, and many have traditional value to Native American communities. National Monuments also drive local economies that benefit from related tourism and outdoor recreation.”

The White House confirmed that they received Zinke’s report, and are reviewing it. It is not clear when the White House or Interior will release the full report to the public. Secretary Zinke did release a short summary of the report that included few details, but acknowledged that public comments during the National Monument review “were overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining existing monuments.”

President Trump is likely to pursue two options for acting on the recommendations. First, he could issue an executive order changing the boundaries of one or more of the monuments under review. It is unclear whether such changes are legal, and any attempt to reduce National Monument boundaries by executive action will immediately be challenged in court.

Second, the President could issue a formal recommendation to Congress that they pass legislation to change certain National Monument boundaries. Legislation undermining existing National Monument protections would trigger a fierce battle in Congress. Nearly three million Americans submitted comments opposing any changes to the National Monuments under review, and it is certain those people will pressure their members of Congress to oppose any such legislation.

The Conservation Alliance will work closely with our member companies and our partners in the conservation community to respond to any attempt to diminish our National Monuments.

“We are prepared to use our grant program to fund litigation challenging boundary changes made by executive action,” said Sterling. “We will support grassroots conservation groups that work to organize opposition to legislative efforts to shrink monuments. And we will continue to organize our member companies and their employees and customers to speak out forcefully in support of our public lands.”

Our Investment in National Monuments

The Conservation Alliance has a 28-year history of investing in efforts to protect public lands for their habitat and recreation values. In April, President Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all national monument designations larger than 100,000 acres from the past 21 years to determine whether their boundaries are consistent with the intent of the Antiquities Act. The Interior Department then issued a list of 27 national monuments that would be included in the review, of which 22 are terrestrial and five are marine monuments. The Conservation Alliance made grants that helped secure 10 of those 22 land-based monuments under review.

Going back to 1999, we made 25 grants totaling $765,000 to 13 different conservation organizations whose work was instrumental in protecting 10 national monuments. This list only includes monuments currently under review by the Interior Department. Our funding has also helped secure many national monument designations that are not being considered by this review.

The Conservation Alliance opposes any effort to change the boundaries of existing national monuments through executive action. National monuments designated since 1996 protect landscapes with important recreation, cultural, and habitat values.

 

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