Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) released a video highlighting the economic impact that national monuments have had in their states and across the country. In April, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at rescinding national monument designations made by President Obama under the Antiquities Act. The Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monuments in Nevada, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments in New Mexico, and the Mojave Trails and Giant Sequoia National Monuments in California are among the monuments currently under review.
The senators emphasized that national monuments enjoy widespread public support and serve as economic drivers in communities across the United States. National monuments and America’s protected public lands help fuel an $887 billion outdoor recreation industry, which sustains 7.6 million jobs and creates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in local and state tax revenue. In addition, the senators noted, all recently designated national monuments were the result of exhaustive public and Tribal consultation, and polls show large majorities of Americans support maintaining existing protections.
In the video, the senators also encouraged people to submit comments to the Department of the Interior before the July 10 deadline to voice their support for keeping our national monuments and protecting the places we love. Since the public comment period opened, more than one million Americans have submitted comments, with the overwhelming majority supporting keeping existing monument protections in place.