American Rivers Condemns Largest Rollback of Public Land Protections in U.S. History

December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017

Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

Washington – American Rivers President Bob Irvin released the following statement today in response to President Trump’s announcement that he will roll back protections for major portions of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

“Until today, we could count on our presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama, to use their authority wisely to protect public lands and waters for generations to come. Under President Trump, that is no longer the case.”

“Never before has a president moved so aggressively to eliminate protection of so much public land. Never before has a president displayed such blatant disregard for the importance of public lands to our heritage, economy, clean water and identity as Americans.”

“Shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to allow for coal mining and oil and gas development threatens sacred Native American sites and streams that feed the Colorado and San Juan rivers, the lifeblood of canyon country.”

“The president’s action is an insult to all who value cultural heritage, outdoor recreation, and responsible stewardship of our shared natural resources. It ignores the overwhelming public support for maintaining and protecting national monuments and undermines the bipartisan legacy of previous presidents who used their authority to protect national monuments for all Americans.”

“American Rivers will continue to fight to defend our public lands and waters from this shameful assault, in order to ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy these irreplaceable natural treasures.”


American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 275,000 members, supporters and volunteers.

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