The CPANP Logo


March 20, 2024

President Joe Biden
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jeff Merkley
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Subject: Support for an Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument

Dear President Biden, Senator Wyden, and Senator Merkley:

We are writing to you today on behalf of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, an organization that represents over 2,500 current, former, and retired National Park Service employees and volunteers.

Today, we write to you in support of an Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument, which represents one of the country’s greatest opportunities to meet our goal of conserving 30% of U.S. lands and freshwater by 2030.

Owyhee Canyonlands includes millions of acres of rugged canyons, sagebrush grasslands, and rushing rivers. The landscape is a refuge for ecological diversity and a place of economic and cultural significance to the local community and the state of Oregon. Yet these lands are also at risk from looming threats such as development and urban expansion, and climate change.

A National Monument designation would protect Owyhee’s most critical and vulnerable areas. It would safeguard wildlife corridors and habitat for the more than 200 species who call it home, including the imperiled greater sage-grouse, the golden eagle, the pronghorn antelope, and the nearly 30 endemic plant species that are found nowhere else on earth. In addition, protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands is crucial for creating climate-resilient landscapes and habitats in the Great Basin and beyond. Protecting the Owyhee for its rich ecological values will help the land adapt to the pressures of a changing climate.

The Owyhee Canyonlands are not just a natural wonder and a haven of ecological diversity – they are a sacred place with countless cultural and archaeological sites. A National Monument for the Owyhee Canyonlands will pave the way for additional resources to care for, monitor, and protect these important sites while limiting further damage.

The Owyhee Canyonlands protects critical natural and cultural resources and holds irreplaceable value for current and future generations. We urge you to act swiftly to designate this landscape as a national monument and ensure its continued protection.


Phil Francis Signature



Philip A. Francis Jr., Chair
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks