Secretary Zinke’s National Monuments Recommendation: Statement by American Rivers

August 24, 2017

August 24, 2017

Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

Washington, DC – The Associated Press is reporting today that Interior Secretary Zinke will “recommend changes to a ‘handful’ of national monuments but none to be eliminated.” Scaling back protections for treasured public lands could result in the destruction of Native American archaeological sites, impaired access for hunting and fishing, and economic harm to local businesses dependent on tourism and outdoor recreation.

Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers, made the following statement:

“If someone is threatening to chop off your hands, he doesn’t deserve praise for only cutting off some of your fingers. While Secretary Zinke isn’t recommending eliminating any monuments, his proposal to shrink the size and protections for some monuments is a radical and unpopular move.  It robs future generations of Americans of their natural heritage in order to open these lands to exploitation.”

“As President Theodore Roosevelt recognized when he created our first national monuments, public lands and waters belong to all of us. By targeting any national monuments for reduction, Secretary Zinke and President Trump are attacking our shared heritage and undermining the legacy we want to preserve for our children and grandchildren. American Rivers and our supporters nationwide will fight these proposals and continue to defend public lands, clean drinking water supplies, and the rivers that connect us all.”


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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