July 11, 2017

Cortez Masto Joins Public Lands Groups to Call on Trump Administration to Listen to Overwhelming Public Support for National Monuments

More than 2.7 million public comments support national monuments across the country

Washington, D.C. – With over 2.7 million comments submitted opposing the Department of the Interior’s unprecedented national monument review as the 60-day public comment period closed last night, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) joined public lands and community advocates today to call on President Donald Trump and Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to listen to their constituents and keep existing monument protections in place.

Interior’s national monument review was spurred by President Trump’s overarching executive order, which could unravel dozens of America’s national monuments despite the strong outpouring of support from across the nation. In states where monuments are at most risk like Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico, strong majorities of more than 80 percent want to keep protections for existing national monuments in place. Secretary Zinke’s “review” of national monuments ends on August 24.

“The two monuments currently under review in Nevada, Gold Butte and Basin and Range, have widespread public support and serve as economic drivers for our state,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “In Nevada alone, the outdoor recreation economy generates 148,000 jobs and $14.9 billion in economic value each year. The American people have made their voices heard—they do not support the Interior Department’s monuments review and they do not want these protected public lands that connect us with natural beauty, recreation, and history to be sold off to private developers. I have heard those voices and will continue fighting to protect our public lands for present and future generations to enjoy.”

“An attack on one national monument threatens all of our national parks and public lands,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. “We need to protect these pristine places for future generations so they can keep benefiting local economies, preserving ecological wonders, and serving as reminders of our nation’s rich and diverse history. It’s no wonder communities across the country mobilized to submit over 2.7 million comments so quickly when people overwhelmingly disapprove of the Trump administration’s extreme anti-environmental policies. Now it’s time for President Trump and Secretary Zinke to listen.”