Doesn’t that look like a lovely place to be? I kind of wish I was there now. It’s a picture of the Katahdin Woods in Maine. It’s one of the National Monuments that are now at risk of being reduced, reviewed, or eliminated by the Trump Administration. Yep. That’s right.
The Trump Administration has asked Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to examine whether previous presidents have over-stepped their authority and made these monuments too large or ignored objections from the public. The not-at-all-subtle subtext is that energy companies want access to these lands for mining, oil extraction, coal extraction, or some other kind of activity that destroys the natural landscape. The monuments under review are those created since 1996 by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. In the history of our nation, no President has ever revoked any monuments named by his predecessors.
So what can we do? We can comment online in opposition to reducing the boundaries of these National Monuments. I’ve grown to like online comments to governmental websites. It feels very civic-participation-y. A government agency is asking my opinion? Well then, I’ll give it!
Click here for the link to comment. The deadline to comment is July 10, 2017.
Here’s what I said. You should modify it somewhat, though. (I feel like I read somewhere that the government IT people have some method of weeding out identical comments. )
“All of our nation’s National Monuments need to be protected and left as they are. Reviewing, rescinding, and reducing the size of our national monuments is a massive step backward. These wilderness areas are sacred to Native Americans, contain archeological sites, ancient native burial grounds, petroglyphs (ancient rock art) and breathtaking natural beauty. They are important for outdoor enthusiasts as well as provide income for local economies. These wild lands are also extremely fragile, and will not survive attempts by short-sighted greedy corporations to extract resources from them (minerals, oil, gas, coal, logging etc) or diminish their protected status in any way. They need to remain protected. Do the right thing. Leave them as they are.”
More photos of the National Monuments at risk! So lovely!