Submitted July 9, 2017 Dear Secretary Zinke,
Re: Review of Certain National Monuments Established since 1996 and Opportunity for Public Input.
Please include my comments in support of protecting and preserving nationals monument within the scope of this review.
I’m an avid hunter, outdoorsman, husband, father, fiscal conservative, business owner, and more relative to this issue a taxpayer and part owner of these federally protected lands.
Trumps unprecedented order to “review” these national monuments is an obvious effort to undermine the protections of these culturally and scientifically important public lands. It's a short-sighted strategy that allows our natural resources to be sold off for political favors of a passing administration.
For good reasons, no president has ever attempted to walk back such protections. It has never made sense to do so and makes less sense now.
Claims of economic doom and gloom from designating existing public lands as “national monuments is one of the many myths perpetrated by opponents. Consider this recent 2017 research from Headwaters Economics that reinforces earlier studies that the hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation done in our national monuments are GOOD for local economies.
Specifically, consider our largest national monument, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah which was probably what this review was aimed at undoing. The Headwaters Economic study found that local communities around such newly established monuments; “have been more successful at attracting fast-growing economic sectors and as a result grow more quickly, on average, than counties without protected public lands. In addition, protected natural amenities—such as the pristine scenery found at Grand Staircase-Escalante—also help sustain property values and attract new investment.”
From 2001 to 2015, in the Grand Staircase-Escalante Region:
• Population grew by 13%
• Real personal income grew by 32%
• Jobs grew by 24%
• Real per capita income grew by 17%
I view this order to review as an assault on our economic well-being as well as our national heritage. Therefore I do not support any rollback, reductions, or proposals that would strip these national monuments of their special status.
I also support the presidential use of the Antiquities Act and encourage further use to protect our Unique cultural, historical and natural scientifically important federal lands.
Mr. Zinke, thank you for the opportunity to submit my comments. I've been hopeful that your background and public statements would translate into actions protecting and preserving our nation's public lands. The landing page on the DOI website quotes you as saying: “Without question, our public lands are America’s treasure”. I too consider them our treasure. A treasure too valuable to be pilfered and squandered by the whims of a passing eclectic administration, but rather crown jewels of our nation to be passed down with reverence and respect from generation to generation.
Kindest personal regards,
2716 Cedar Valley Drive
Greenwood, AR 72936