NEWS RELEASE: ZINKE TEASES ILLEGAL AND UN-AMERICAN CHANGES TO NATIONAL MONUMENTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt derides Trump administration saying it “has no business altering our public lands for private interests.”
Durango, Colo. (August 24, 2017)–In a cowardly move, Secretary Zinke hinted that changes would be made to the nation’s national monuments, without providing any details. Secretary Zinke’s proven once again to side with business over the interest of the American people. The exact content of his recommendations have yet to be disclosed to the public, but Conservation Lands Foundation and its partners stand ready to file suit against any proposed changes.
“Conservation Lands Foundation was established to protect public lands and to ensure future generations of Americans have the opportunity enjoy these awe-inspiring landscapes, said Executive Director of Conservation Lands Foundation Brian Sybert. “Today’s poor display of transparency makes clear that Secretary Zinke cannot be trusted to protect our public lands.”
“We know that public lands are well-loved by all Americans and should not be turned into a partisan issue. Secretary Zinke has proven to be divisive and turned public support for our national monuments into a wedge issue. His actions today clearly demonstrate that he does not have the public’s interest in mind and will likely open up these lands to oil, gas and mining industries. He is set to ruin one-of-a-kind historic and cultural treasures that all Americans should be able to enjoy. We are prepared to fight any changes to our beloved national monuments in the courts.”
Secretary Zinke’s refusal to release the Trump administration’s recommendations will only exacerbate the continued erosion of trust in our government and leaders.
“Our national monuments are incredible landscapes that preserve America’s rich cultural heritage and are home to great beauty,” says Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and Conservation Lands Foundation Board Member. “We must protect these awe-inspiring places so that all Americans can continue to enjoy them with their families and make memories that will last a lifetime. Secretary Zinke has no business altering our public lands for business interests and depriving the American people from enjoying this great tradition.”
Conservation Lands Foundation is the only nonprofit organization in the nation focused solely on protecting our National Conservation Lands — 36 million acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Conservation Lands Foundation has staunchly opposed the national monument review process that been used as a political tool to settle scores and reward supporters and big business.
“This entire national monument review process and recommendations has been a sham and a foregone conclusion from the beginning. From the outset, Zinke was not conducting an honest review and has shown a blatant disregard for our national monuments and the American people,” said Conservation Lands Foundation Board Chair Ed Norton. “One can only conclude that the Secretary is more interested in helping private industry enrich itself rather than siding with the American people who overwhelmingly want to protect our precious natural and cultural heritage.”