With a heavy heart, I have decided to write briefly about my views on the current environmental (governmental) issues our country is facing — hoping that it will create some spark of energy in a least one of my readers to join the fight. Without further adieu —
This week the president called for the largest reduction in PUBLIC PROTECTED LANDS in the history of the United States. Why do I care? Well, this reduction includes shrinking Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Escalante National Monument by 50%! This move is a reversal of protections put in place by the president’s Democratic predecessors. This is just the tip of the iceberg — Mr. Trump has proposed to have the secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, “review” 27 national monuments. What does this mean? MILLIONS of public and protected acres are under threat of big business & bureaucrats who hope to develop this land — not to mention utilize the natural resources UNDER THEM (i.e. coal and oil). Here are a list of some of the 27 national monuments under threat:
- Basin and Range, Nevada – 703,585 acres
- Bears Ears, Utah – 1,353,000 acres
- Berryessa Snow Mountain, California – 330,780 acres
- Carrizo Plain, California – 204,107 acres
- Cascade Siskiyou, Oregon – 100,000 acres
- Giant Sequoia, California – 327,760 acres
- Gold Butte, Nevada – 296,937 acres
- Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah – 1,700,000 acres
- Ironwood Forest, Arizona – 128,917 acres
- Katahdin Woods and Waters, Maine – 87,563 acres
- Marianas Trench, Northern Mariana Islands/Pacific Ocean – 60,938,240 acres
- Mojave Trails, California – 1,600,000 acres
- Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Atlantic Ocean – 3,114,320 acres
- Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, New Mexico – 496,330 acres
- Pacific Remote Islands, Pacific Ocean – 313,818,892 acres
- Papahanaumokuakea, Hawaii/Pacific Ocean – 372,849,920 acres
- Rio Grande del Norte, New Mexico – 242,555 acres
- Rose Atoll, American Samoa/Pacific Ocean – 8,609,045 acres
- San Gabriel Mountains, California -346,177 acres
- Sonoran Desert, Arizona – 486,149 acres
- Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona – 279,568 acres
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Sign the petition at http://www.protectourpublicland.org/
- Pick up the phone & Call your representatives. It may sound old-school, but elected officials say there’s still no substitute for hearing directly from their constituents. Call, visit, or write to let them know that you support public land—and you vote.
- Share the love – Introduce someone to the outdoors. Our public lands need all the friends they can get—but it’s hard to care about a place you’ve never been. Take a newbie on their first hike or camping trip and show them what your favorite open space has to offer.
- Donate – To The Trust for Public Land, which creates parks and protects land for Americans.
That’s all for this time folks! Please consider joining the fight – these lands are for all of us, NOT big business. There’s so much more to this topic, as I have barely scratched the surface. I will leave some websites below if you, like me, are interested in learning as much about this as possible.
If we are not for the environment then who are we? If we do not focus on the issues of today, where will we be in 20 years? If not now, when?