FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 19, 2016
Arizona leaders call on Interior Secretary Zinke to support and protect public lands, national monuments
FLAGSTAFF, AZ—The Center for Western Priorities’ Monuments to America RV road tour stopped in Flagstaff today, where leaders urged President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop the assault on popular national monuments that boost local economies.
During a press briefing outside of City Hall, business leaders, outdoor advocates, and elected officials discussed how national monuments and other protected public lands help create jobs, support the local economy and define the West’s outdoor way of life.
Aaron Weiss, Media Director, Center for Western Priorities
“President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have started down a dangerous path. If they succeed in eliminating even one of our national monuments, then no monument will be safe from the whims of future presidents. If Secretary Zinke was actually listening to the American people, he would have looked at the 98 percent of public comments that supported our national monuments and admitted his sham review was one of the worst ideas in recent political history.”
Chip Davis, Deputy District Director, U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran
“Grand Canyon-Parashant, Ironwood Forest, and Vermilion Cliffs serve a special purpose, are correctly designated, and should be held in stewardship for generations. Moving forward, Congressman O’Halleran is committed to working with members of both parties to support legislation that protects our important historic and natural resources.”
Celia Barotz, Former Vice Mayor, City Councilwoman, Flagstaff
“I stand with all of my constituents and with those members of Arizona’s congressional delegation who have asked Secretary Zinke to provide our outdoor economy with the stability business owners crave so they can be successful.”
Lena Fowler, Coconino County Supervisor
“Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is an area that is used and loved by all — nearby native tribes, outfitters, ranchers, hunters, and hikers. It is the economic driver in our region, a priceless landscape that should be left as it is. That’s why the Coconino County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in support of Arizona’s national monuments.”
Ethan Aumack, Conservation Director, Grand Canyon Trust
“President Trump and Secretary Zinke are taking our children’s and grandchildren’s birthright, our nation’s birthright, and squandering it. We don’t believe the American people will stand for it. The Grand Canyon Trust surely won’t. If President Trump attacks Arizona’s national monuments we will defend them with everything we’ve got.”
Danny Giovale, founder, Kahtoola, Inc.
“Many of my associates at Kahtoola have chosen to live in Flagstaff because of the access to protected public lands. When we protect and steward natural landscapes we guard against potential deterioration of their value by prioritizing long term health and unspoiled open places. Our national monuments provide enjoyment for millions of people and are powerful and sustainable economic engines.”
In late April, President Trump issued an executive order instructing the Department of the Interior to review 27 national monuments protected over the last 21 years. Every indication from President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and politicians close to them is that the outcome is preordained and review will lead to attempts to shrink or eliminate national monuments. Rolling back national monument protections through executive action is an unprecedented, and likely illegal, move that puts all of America’s protected lands, parks, forests and monuments at risk.
The Center for Western Priorities recently conducted an analysis of public comments submitted to the Department of Interior and found 98 percent expressed support for keeping or expanding the national monument under review.
Four of Arizona’s national monuments are among the 27 monuments threatened under President Trump’s executive order: Grand Canyon-Parashant, Ironwood Forest, Sonoran Desert and Vermilion Cliffs.
The Center for Western Priorities’ Monuments to America tour is a six-state RV road-trip highlighting national monuments across the West that are threatened by President Trump’s executive order. The tour, featuring a wrapped RV and oversized inflatable State of Liberty‚ will conclude at the final Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. Outdoor Retailer is leaving Salt Lake City for Denver after 20 years in protest of Utah politicians’ anti-public lands agenda.
This spring, the Center for Western Priorities launched a multi-state ad campaign encouraging national leaders to respect the heritage and history of America’s national monuments.
Broadcast and print-quality photos, video and audio of the press conference will be available this afternoon at bit.ly/monumentsmedia.