Urge President Biden: Protect Public Lands and Waters!

Sign the Letter


As the Biden administration seeks to conserve public lands and waters and advance environmental justice, the Antiquities Act is an invaluable tool the president can use to establish additional national monuments, thereby conserving public lands and cultural resources, improving outdoor access, honoring the diverse experiences of our nation, and stimulating local and regional economies.

We deeply appreciate President Biden taking action to reverse the rollbacks initiated by the previous administration and restore protections to irreplaceable cultural resources and natural treasures at Bears Ears, Grand-Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments. Now, we look to President Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and to work with communities across the nation to protect more irreplaceable cultural places and public lands and waters, and fulfill the President’s pledge to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters, and ocean by 2030, outlined in the America the Beautiful initiative.

Please sign this letter and urge President Biden to act swiftly and use his authority to protect public lands and ocean health. 


Letter Text


President Joseph Biden

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Deb Haaland
Secretary of the Interior
US Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240

RE: Use the Antiquities Act to Protect Lands with Significant Cultural and Historical Significance

The establishment of national monuments through the Antiquities Act has proven to be a key tool for protecting landscapes that benefit cultural resources, unique scientific objects, outdoor recreation, and regional economies.

Through The Antiquities Act, presidents have been able to protect hundreds of millions of acres of land that have significant cultural and historical significance. These presidential designated national monuments protect our public lands, air, water, wildlife, culturally and historically significant artifacts and sites. Furthermore, monuments help to support and grow local economies, tourism, and outdoor access. 

Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Joshua Tree, Acadia, and Grand Teton National Parks—to name a few of America’s most special places—were all originally protected as national monuments. Each of these significant cultural and recreation landscapes, along with the thriving economies of the nearby gateway communities, would look very different today but for the foresight of multiple presidents who employed the Antiquities Act.

The undersigned deeply appreciate President Biden taking action to reverse the rollbacks initiated by the previous administration and restore protections to irreplaceable cultural resources and natural treasures at Bears Ears, Grand-Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments. Now, we look to President Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and to work with communities across the nation to protect more irreplaceable cultural places and public lands and waters, and fulfill the President’s pledge to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters, and ocean by 2030, outlined in the America the Beautiful initiative. In particular, we urge you to focus on protecting the following properties:

  • The Castner Range outside of El Paso, Texas, which provides an essential watershed and has historically been a waypoint for communities seeking rest from the harsh desert environment.

  • Friendship Park in Southern California that provides transborder cultural connectivity between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico where the construction of border barriers threatens local ecology and reduces public use of these lands.

  • Caja Del Rio near Santa Fe New Mexico is a piñon-juniper savanna and grassland sacred to the area’s pueblo tribes. The land is dotted with cinder cones, features a dramatic basalt escarpment rich with petroglyphs, and is one of the most ecologically rich wildlife corridors in New Mexico.

  • Avi Kwa Ame is a dramatic landscape in Southern Nevada with some of the most biologically diverse and culturally significant lands in the entire Mojave Desert. The region’s mountains, canyons, natural springs, and bajadas are considered sacred by ten Yuman speaking tribes as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute.

The Antiquities Act is an invaluable tool to establish additional national monuments, thereby conserving public lands, waters and cultural resources, improving outdoor access, honoring the diverse experiences of our nation, and stimulating local and regional economies.

The undersigned individuals from across the country urge the Biden administration to protect more public lands and waters as well as important cultural properties.

The undersigned,

 

 

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