Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke officially recommended that President Trump make boundary changes to Gold Butte National Monument. This decision comes just a day after President Trump sharply reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah.
“Today’s recommendation, along with yesterday’s decision by President Trump, threatens over a century of environmental protections guaranteed by the Antiquities Act. From the beginning of Secretary Zinke’s review process, Nevadans have been clear: protect our national monuments. Earlier this year, 2.3 million Americans submitted public comments urging Secretary Zinke to protect our public lands, respect the heritage of Native American communities, and safeguard the livelihoods of rural communities that depend on the outdoor industry.
“In the event a monument anywhere requires alteration, that process must respect the rights of local and indigenous communities and should be led by Congress. President Trump’s unprecedented decision undermines a century of precedent under President Theodore Roosevelt’s Antiquities Act and clearly demonstrates his continued inability to serve as a moral leader of our country. Every American President has respected, protected, and embraced the values of conservation and sustainability embodied by this critical legislation. President Trump’s action ignores this example and destroys a bipartisan historical precedent. An attack on one of our monuments is an attack on all of them. I will stand with Nevadans to protect our public lands so that our children and future generations can continue to hike, hunt, and explore our beautiful public lands.”