MEDIUM: Outcries against Trump’s executive order ring across the West: A roundup of responses to the president’s latest attack on public lands

President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order placing 24 national monuments under “review,” thereby opening the door to remove or reduce protections for these cherished lands.

Response across the West was swift and severe. Leaders were quick to call out this action as a direct affront to America’s public lands legacy.

Here’s a roundup of what folks had to say:

“Attempting to wipe national monuments off the map with the stroke of a pen would be illegal and unpopular, and this review will show as much.” 
— U.S. Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ)

“America’s national monuments have become the latest victims in this heated political atmosphere. Any attempt to undo or alter them isn’t just undermining a century-old law, it’s a betrayal of the people who fought so hard for them, and the land and history we’ve all spent generations safeguarding.”
— Theresa Pierno, President and CEO, National Parks Conservation Association

“Our Tribal governments have made it clear that any change to [Bears Ears National Monument] would undermine the efforts of so many, and would disrespect our deep and enduring connections to this place.” 
— The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition

“National monuments weave a rich tapestry of diversity and culture, but this executive order seeks to tear it apart thread by thread.” 
— Maite Arce, President & CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation

“President Trump is making one thing clear today — he doesn’t give a damn about Nevadans. Gold Butte’s designation as a national monument was a huge win for Nevada, giving our state the resources and tools we need to safeguard this land. I am deeply disappointed that President Trump has ordered a review of these monuments, that could potentially lead to a loss of status and funding.”
— U.S. Representative Ruben Kihuen (D-NV)

“The actions taken today by the administration are a thinly veiled attack on fish and wildlife cloaked under the guise of a review of the Antiquities Act. The Antiquities Act has been used by Republican and Democratic presidents to protect some of our nation’s most cherished landscapes. Our concern is a review will only lead to reduced protections of these national treasures.” 
— Ben Bulis, President, American Fly Fishing Trade Association

“This executive order is a blatant attempt by President Trump and Republicans to roll back the work of past administrations to protect public lands. This short-sighted effort is a gift to special interest groups and fails to recognize the benefits national monuments provide to our economy and environment.” 
— U.S. Representative Dina Titus (D-NV)

“This Executive Order is unnecessary, and I believe that it will prove to be a waste of federal resources because the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument had widespread support from the public and from Hawai‘i’s political leaders.” 
— U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)

“Less than 24 hours after joining with our industry to celebrate the economic power of outdoor recreation, in a hypocritical move, the Trump administration took unprecedented steps that could result in the removal of protections for treasured public lands.” 
— Rose Marcario, President and CEO, Patagonia

“This Executive Order is a shameful blemish on our country, history and values. Allowing the rollback of protections for any monument puts all monuments at risk and we cannot allow that.” 
— Laura M. Esquivel, Director of National Advocacy, Hispanic Federation

“Any effort by President Trump to undermine the Antiquities Act, shrink, or even eliminate some of the most iconic American places will be met with fierce opposition.” 
— U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

“This executive order by President Trump is the opening salvo in an unprecedented attack on America’s federal public lands, and Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments are directly and deliberately in the crosshairs. This order should alarm every American who cares about our country’s cultural and natural heritage.” 
— Scott Groene, Executive Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

“Trump’s Executive Order is an affront to the Latino community in New Mexico, who fought tirelessly for decades with conservationists, sportsmen, local elected officials and small business owners to protect the precious historical, cultural and ecological resources of places like the Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monuments.”
— Michael Casaus, New Mexico State Director, The Wilderness Society

“This attack on monuments is an affront to all Americans who know darn well there were, and are, very good reasons to protect these special landscapes so they’ll continue to provide habitat, beauty and economic benefits for the surrounding communities well into the future. The landscapes are the gift that keeps on giving — for sportsmen, hikers, outdoorswomen, wildlife watchers, bikers and other recreationists.”
— Aaron Kindle, Western Sportsmen Manager, National Wildlife Federation

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