White House Remains Silent on National Monument Review

08/31/2017

Interior Secretary Zinke's controversial review of National Monuments has sparked a high profile debate over our public lands, and Americans are eagerly awaiting the details of his recommendations. The long-awaited report that will determine the fate of the many climbing areas in our National Monuments has been submitted to President Trump, but it has not yet been made public.


Indian Creek is a world-class climbing area inside Bears Ears National Monument. © Andrew Burr

Zinke promised a more transparent and thorough review process, but has he delivered on that commitment? He did not respond to Access Fund’s concerns regarding the world-class climbing areas at Bears Ears National Monument. He also declined in-person, onsite input from several local Native American tribes, many conservation groups, and Access Fund. And although he opened the review process up to public comment, his brief summary released last week dismissed the letters of over 2 million concerned Americans, saying it “demonstrated a well-orchestrated national campaign.”

It appears likely that Zinke’s review of National Monuments hasn’t considered the concerns of the majority of stakeholders. We maintain hope that the President will not act on any recommendations to reduce or rescind our national monuments and that, in the future, Secretary Zinke will invite all stakeholders to the table when making critical decisions that affect our shared public lands and heritage.

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