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RESPONSE to Secretary Zinke’s announcement on Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

DENVER—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced today that he has spared Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients National Monument from his efforts to shrink or erase national monument designations.

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Media Director Aaron Weiss:

“Westerners will not grovel at Secretary Zinke’s feet or thank him for partially backing down from his attempt to wipe out treasured national monument lands. All of our national monuments are a promise to future generations, and there will be nothing to celebrate until Secretary Zinke admits this entire exercise has been a folly designed to appease Washington insiders over the vehement objections of people in the West and across America.

“It’s absurd to praise the Interior secretary for simply announcing that he’s not removing protections from one of America’s archaeological treasures. It’s incumbent on our elected officials to fight for all our national monuments going forward.”

The Center for Western Priorities is wrapping up a week-long road trip across the West as part of its Monuments to America campaign. On Monday, business and political leaders in Grand Junction, Colorado called on Secretary Zinke to protect Canyons of the Ancients, Bears Ears, and all of America’s national monuments, which are major economic drivers for the rural West.

CWP’s analysis of comments submitted to regulations.gov found 98 percent expressed support for keeping America’s national monuments intact.

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