Press Room

The White House Just Declared Open Season on Our Public Lands

Reversing monument designations is a dangerous game.

WASHINGTON—“Blowing up more than 100 years of bipartisan tradition to rob our kids of their natural legacy is shameful and sad. 

"These are places Americans hold in their hearts, and this is just a mean-spirited, dangerous, political game the President is playing with America’s national monuments,” said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold), Audubon’s president and CEO, in response to President Donald Trump's executive order targeting the Antiquities Act.

“Birds depend on public lands and waters as places to breed in the spring or ride out the winter. Each President since Teddy Roosevelt has used the Antiquities Act to protect extra special places. And until today, no President has initiated such a broad assault on the conservation legacy of those before him.”

The order directs the Department of the Interior to review all national monument designations made in the last 20 years and make recommendations as to which monuments should be rescinded, resized or modified, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a preliminary recommendation today to shrink the size of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

Local communities across the West strongly oppose reversing national monument designations. Public lands not only benefit people, but countless birds make their homes in these places. For example, reducing the protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, both of which are included in the list of monuments under review, could jeopardize climate-threatened species like the Golden Eagle, Pinyon Jay, Hairy Woodpecker and Mountain Bluebird. These species and many others depend on protected spaces to survive expanding development and the impact of a changing climate.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.

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Contact: Nicolas Gonzalez, ngonzalez@audubon.org, (212) 979-3068.

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