— from Washington State Democrats —
A bipartisan group of 325 state legislators from 44 states sent a letter to President Trump today [May 15, 2017] raising strong concerns with the unprecedented action to review public lands under an executive order signed late last month. The diverse group of legislators urge the president not to rescind or shrink the lands currently designated as national monuments under the Antiquities Act.
“This action puts our heritage at risk here in Washington and across the country. While a select list of national monuments, including Hanford Reach and San Juan Islands in Washington state, could be under immediate review, the order is a first step that puts all public lands at risk,” said Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, who drafted the letter. “The president’s action serves the needs of some special interest groups while ignoring the needs of millions who enjoy our nation’s most special places and the jobs that depend on them.”
“National monuments hold an important place in our history and culture in the United States. No president has attempted to revoke a national monument before,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. “We urge the president to work with Congress and state legislators to increase funding for public land management and boost the surrounding local economies.”
“Public support for protecting special places is strong, and many small communities increasingly depend on tourism and the growing outdoor recreation economy,” said Ranker. “The effort to eliminate or shrink national monuments risks $45 billion generated nationwide by public lands, including national monuments. State legislators will fight for our communities, our heritage and our values to keep public lands in public hands.”