President Donald Trump announced today that he is drastically cutting Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Not only is this decision environmentally irresponsible, it defies public opinion. Ninety-eight percent of the record-breaking 2.8 million public comments to the U.S. Interior Department asked the federal government to maintain or expand protections for these and the 25 other national monuments, including Cascades-Siskyou here in Oregon, still under review by the Trump administration.
Environment Oregon’s State Director, Celeste Meiffren-Swango, made the following statement:
“With spectacular landscapes, abundant wildlife and places for families to explore the outdoors, our public lands are part of what makes Oregon and America so great.
“It is heartbreaking that President Trump is taking away needed protections for treasured public lands. Cutting nearly two million acres combined from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments will open areas currently protected to mining, drilling and development. The president’s action will ravage pristine places, put wildlife in danger and jeopardize scientific and archaeological history, including sacred Native American sites.
“It is short-sighted for the president to elevate the fleeting value derived from extracting a little more oil or coal from these lands over the timeless value gained by preserving America's most precious places for wildlife and our families for generations to come.
“We will continue to do all we can to protect Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Cascades-Siskyou, and our other public lands and waters.”
Read more about Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments and other national monuments at risk: www.standwithourlands.org