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Wildlife Federations Call for Protection of National Monuments

Aug 16, 2017
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Today, nine state wildlife federation organizations and the National Wildlife Federation together called on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to drop the attack on national monuments and maintain vital protections for wildlife, habitat, and public access.

Wildlife Federations Call for Protection of National Monuments

Sightseers looking out over the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River, important arid lands habitat and spawning grounds for the largest wild Chinook salmon run remaining in the Lower 48. Photo: Joel Rogers / TNC

Letter from organizations collectively representing tens of thousands of conservationists, hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers and others across the West calls on Department of the Interior to uphold the Antiquities Act and declare that all monuments will remain as they were legally designated.

Nine state wildlife federation organizations from across the West along with the National Wildlife Federation sent a letter today to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to conclude his Department’s review of national monuments and recommend no changes to any of the monuments under scrutiny.

In their letter, the Montana Wildlife Federation, Wyoming Wildlife Federation, Colorado Wildlife Federation, Idaho Wildlife Federation, Nevada Wildlife Federation, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Association of Northwest Steelheaders (Oregon), Conservation Northwest (Washington), Planning & Conservation League (California), and National Wildlife Federation noted the important role that national monuments play in protecting wildlife, habitat, and public access to public land.

“As you know, the protection of wildlife habitat has been one of the essential uses of the Antiquities Act for more than a century, from Theodore Roosevelt’s designation of the 600,000 acre Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 in order to protect habitat for the Roosevelt elk. Since that time, monuments have been designated specifically to protect large habitat areas across the West, in both rural areas and adjacent to fast-growing urban centers, with widespread local support,” the letter noted.

“We urge you to bring this review to an expeditious close and consistently uphold the principle that wildlife and habitat are objects of historic and scientific interest that merit the application of the Act. The prudent, patriotic, and scientifically sound action is to uphold Antiquities Act and declare that all monuments will remain as they were legally designated.”

The Interior Secretary is expected to announce the results of the Department’s review on August 24.

Conservation Northwest's full comments submitted during the recent national monuments review process are available here. Our statement on continued monument protections for Washington's Hanford Reach is available here

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