Press Release: Next 100 Coalition Raises Concerns with Review of National Monuments
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Next 100 Coalition of over 50 civil rights, environmental justice, conservation, and community organizations wrote a letter to the President expressing concern with the ambiguous guidance and lack of transparency in the Executive Order Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act. The groups also demanded that the Administration meet with tribal leaders and community stakeholders, and urged the President to use the review process to consider additional designations that could fill in missing elements of our national and diverse narratives.
“We strongly oppose any efforts to rescind and or reduce the protections of any national monuments,” reads the letter. “Our national monuments, marine protected areas, and public lands are the storytellers of the shared histories and the diverse communities that make this country great.”
The letter continues by highlighting how the review has dishonored the cultures and histories of places like Bears Ears National Monument, Gold Butte National Monument, and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument are meant to protect, by calling into question their relevancy and validity among other monument designations like that of the Grand Canyon or the Statue of Liberty.
“Conserving our natural, cultural, historical, and spiritual heritage through our public lands and waters system is a core value of our country, one that brings all people together. The protection of our national monuments in their current status is critical to not only telling a more complete story of America, but ensuring that future generations can learn and enjoy these places as well.”
The letter expresses the Coalition’s willingness to work with the Administration and Congress to strengthen the concepts of diversity and inclusion in managing and protecting our nation’s public lands, while also promising to hold the Administration and Congress accountable for any actions to further dishonor these places. The letter comes as people across the country begin submitting their comments to the Administration before the rushed Bears Ears National Monument deadline on May 26 and the July 10 deadline for all other monuments.
Full text of the letter is available on the Next 100 Coalition’s website.
About Next 100 Coalition: The Next 100 Coalition is formed of more than 50 civil rights, environmental justice, conservation, and community organizations. This group seeks to engage a broad cross section of stakeholders to create a public lands system that better reflects America. The Coalition believes our public lands must reflect the faces of our country, respect all cultures and engage all people.