Shrinking Our Public Lands Leads Only to a Diminished American Greatness

The majestic landscapes that enrich our society and provide homes for birds and wildlife deserve better.

NEW YORK — “This unprecedented perversion of the Antiquities Act is a national stain on a record that goes back more than one hundred years," said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold), Audubon’s president and CEO, in response to President Donald Trump’s plan to drastically reduce the size of several national monuments.

“Both Republican and Democratic presidents have protected our most special places to leave our kids and grandkids a rich and long-lasting natural legacy. 

“These places also provide homes for hundreds of species of birds and other wildlife. Reversing a century of conservation foresight to cater to extreme interests leaves everyone poorer and sets a dangerous precedent.”

All across the United States, Americans stand in overwhelming opposition to stripping protections for public lands. These places not only benefit people, but countless birds make their homes in our parks and monuments.

Audubon research, for example, helped determine that Atlantic Puffins spend their winters in the waters off the Atlantic coast, including in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which is included in the review. In Utah, reducing the protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments could jeopardize climate-threatened species like the Golden EaglePinyon JayHairy Woodpecker and Mountain Bluebird. These species and many others depend on protected spaces to survive expanding development and the impact of a changing climate.

Millions of Americans submitted public comments to the Trump Administration during the 60-day review period, with more than 98 percent in support of continuing protections for maintaining or expanding national monuments.

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 and @audubonsociety.

Contact: Nicolas Gonzalez,, (212) 979-3100.