Tuesday, April 24, 2018

More than 100 groups call on Congress to oppose weakening national park protections

In conjunction with national park week, 122 groups sent a letter to Congress Tuesday urging members to oppose any legislation that might weaken protections of national parks and monuments. The letter — signed by various groups representing the LGBTQ community, women, disabled Americans, African-Americans and others — calls the shrinking of national monuments an attack on the Antiquities Act. "Any attack on our public lands, monuments, oceans, and waters is an attack on our communities, our history, our contributions to this great nation, and our culture; and it robs the next generation of a chance to learn from these shared treasures," reads the letter. "It has often been said that our nation’s public lands system is one of our best ideas; we must now come together to protect these special places." One bill in Congress aims to limit the president's ability to establish national monuments under an executive order. The National Monument Creation and Protection Act sponsored by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) would require congressional approval for new monuments larger than 85,000 acres. The groups argue that the monuments highlight the country's diversity — a jab at recent comments reportedly made by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke downplaying diversity's importance...MORE

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