Over 350 Coalition Members Sign On & Express Disappointment in Zinke’s Monument Review

Home   Over 350 Coalition Members Sign On & Express Disappointment in Zinke’s Monument Review

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October 17, 2017

The Honorable Ryan Zinke, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20240

Subject:  Executive Order 13792 (National Monument Review)

Dear Secretary Zinke:

We are writing to you on behalf of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (Coalition). With over 1,400 members, the Coalition is composed entirely of retired, former, or current employees of the National Park Service. Collectively our membership represents more than 35,000 years of experience managing and protecting America’s most precious and important natural and historic places.

We, the undersigned, are extremely disappointed with the results of your review of our country’s national monuments as part of implementation of Executive Order 13792. The Coalition actively participated in the public comment period and expressed strong objections to weakening protections on several occasions. We joined nearly 3 million people who spoke loudly in support of preserving these monuments and the values and economic and other benefits they represent. The results of your evaluation are directly counter to what the vast majority of commenters have called on you to do. This review has clearly been politically motivated and a monumental waste of government time and resources, especially when there are many other urgent issues facing our national parks and other public lands. Furthermore, the Interior Department’s ongoing failure to release the report or provide supporting documentation for your recommendations to the public is utterly unconscionable given the administration’s false allegations about the lack of transparency that occurred during the process that led to the creation of the monuments.  All relevant information should be released to the public as soon as possible.

We join many others who strongly oppose your calling for the significant reduction or removal of protections for the natural and cultural resources, including many remarkable landscapes, currently protected in our national monuments. Given the rich history of conservation of public lands under the Antiquities Act of 1906 beginning with President Theodore Roosevelt, your determination that so many portions of existing national monuments do not meet the Act’s requirements is unprecedented, arbitrary, and unlikely to withstand legal scrutiny. Federal courts have consistently deferred to the President’s authority in establishing national monuments to use his discretion to determine “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected” for “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.”

The recommendations that we find most unacceptable include the following:

  • Bears Ears National Monument, Utah:Shrink (separate reports suggest by as much as 1 million acres) the national monument and allow ‘traditional’ uses like mining, logging and drilling in protected areas.
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah: Shrink the national monument and allow ‘traditional’ uses like mining, logging and drilling in protected areas.
  • Cascade Siskiyou National Monument, Oregon:Shrink the national monument and allow ‘traditional’ uses like mining, logging and drilling in protected areas.
  • Gold Butte National Monument, Nevada: Shrink the national monument and allow ‘traditional’ uses like mining, logging and drilling in protected areas.
  • Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico: Allow ‘traditional’ uses like mining, logging and drilling in protected areas; leaves open the possibility of shrinking the monument.
  • Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, New Mexico:Allow ‘traditional’ uses like mining, logging and drilling in protected areas; leaves open the possibility of shrinking the monument.
  • Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Maine– Suggests that logging should be allowed in the national monument; leaves open the possibility of shrinking the monument. The National Park Service already has all the authority it needs to protect and manage the natural resources of the monument.  The recommendation to “promote healthy forests through active timber management” is misleading and, absent specific authorization by Congress, would likely be illegal under the laws that apply to this monument.
  • Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Atlantic Ocean – Allow industrial-scale commercial fishing in the national monument; leaves open the possibility of shrinking the monument.
  • Pacific Remote Islands National Monument, Pacific Ocean–Allow industrial-scale commercial fishing in the national monument; leaves open the possibility of shrinking the monument.
  • Rose Atoll National Monument – Allow industrial-scale commercial fishing in the national monument; leaves open the possibility of shrinking the monument.

At your confirmation hearing, you described yourself as “an unapologetic admirer of Teddy Roosevelt.” His conservation legacy is eloquently described on the Department’s own website at: https://www.doi.gov/blog/theodore-roosevelts-legacy.  Your approach to the national monuments under review is antithetical to this conservation legacy and what President Roosevelt believed should be done for present and future generations.

In closing, we began this year with hope that the support you declared for public lands and outdoor recreation would, in fact, translate into greater conservation accomplishments during your tenure as Interior Secretary. Instead, your review of national monuments marks a dismal day in the history of public lands conservation in the United States.

Sincerely,

The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Executive Council:
Maureen Finnerty, Chair
Philip A. Francis, Jr., Vice Chair
Brenda Barrett
Maria Burks
Mark A. Butler
David M. Graber
Donald J. Hellmann
Douglas K. Morris
Michael B. Murray
Richard Ring
Sheridan Steele
Kate Stevenson

Members of CPANP

Abigail B MillerGary E. DavisNancy Deschu
Alison RobbGary R MilesNancy F. Ehorn
Allen BohnertGary William JohnsonNancy russell
Amy GilbertLizbeth CaseyNeal G Guse
Ann ChildressGene CaseyNelson Siler
Anne WorthingtonGeorge AldersonNicholas J Eason
Anne WorthingtonGilbert E. BlinnNorah Martinez
Audrey Faye CalhounGilbert SoperNorman D. Hellmers
B Riley McClellandGinny RousseauOlav V. Olsen
B. William HenryGordon V. GayOron L. Bass, Jr.
Barbara J. ("BJ") GriffinGretchen LuxenbergOron Lamar Bass, Jr
Barry T. SullivanH. Bryan MitchellPamela Underhill
Bennie C, KeelHal J GrovertPatrick Reed
Betty Irene McSwainJ. Douglas CuillardPATRICK RICHARD VIGIL
Bill JacksonJ. Eric HauglandPaul A. Shackel
Bob GerhardJ. Mel PoolePaul Henderson
Brian R AdamsJ.W. HowardPaul K. Stevens
Bruce B. MoorheadJack E. StarkPaul R. Anderson
Bruce CraigJack RamsdenPeggy Dolinich
Bruce D. McKeemanJacqueline GonzalesPeter C. Fitzmaurice
Bruce D. MurphyJacqueline LoweyPeter K. Nigh
Bruce DombrowskiJames C RoachPeter White
Bruce MacDougalJames C. Redford JrPhil Brueck
Bruce W BytnarJames EbertPhilip A. Francis Jr.
Calvin HiteJames EvansPhilip Heckman
Carl J. DouhanJames F. MartinR. Bruce Edmonston
Carl S. ChristensenJames L HummelRamona Burks
Carol D. ShullJames ZinckRandy W Turner
Carol J. SpearsJams EvansRebecca Louise Harriett
Cary F BrownJane C. AndersonRebecca M. Post
Charles B VollJanet c wolfRichard A. Rasp
Charles Barry CooperJanet L. WiseRichard B.Smith
Charles E SchultheisJanis KozlowskiRichard C. Curry
Charles R. "Butch" Farabee, Jr.Jared CohenRichard D. Falb
Cherry PayneJason TillotsonRichard E. Wells
Cheryl HoughtelinJean RodeckRichard Ernenwein
Cheryl Louise TeagueJeffrey D ManleyRichard H. Martin
Christian J. MalankaJerry M. MitchellRichard M. Bryant
Christine L. ShaverJerry R. Yarbrough / National Park Service RetireeRichard W Gregory
Christopher SeymourJervis D Swannack IIIRichard W. Frost
Chuck youngJH (Jack) RamsdenRick Jones
Claude Stanley Fowler, JrJim NorthupRick L. Mossman
Colin C. "Toby" HastieJoan AnzelmoRobbyn Jackson
Colin C. HastieJohn C ReedRobert Andrew
Cordell J. RoyJohn E. HunterRobert D Dunnagan
Courtney HotchkissJohn F ByrneRobert E. Sellers
Craig C. AxtellJohn Freemuth, Islands Under SiegeRobert Edward Woody
Cynthia M. HoldaJohn H. JamesonRobert Hyde
D. Scott HartwigJohn K. ApelRobert L Peterson
D. Thomas RossJohn M MorrisRobert Valen
Dale J. AntonichJohn MaounisRobert W Blythe
Dan MosesJohn P. BloomRobert W Reynolds
Daniel J JacobsJohn P. Debo, Jr.Robert W. Mackreth
Daniel J. JennerJohn R. ErismanRobert Wjhite
Daniel TaylorJohn RitenourRoberta Barrows
David A. ClaryJohn T. ConoboyRoberta D'Amico
David B ShaverJohn W WadeRodney L. Danner
David BuccelloJon BoyceRoger A. Rudolph
David C. HartmanJon Buono, AIARoger Jacob Siglin
David D. RobertsJon PaynterRonald A. Wilson
David D. Thompson Jr.Jonathan B HalpernRonald G. Thoman
David H WallaceJoseph AullRonald G. Warfield
David HaetJoseph FinanRussell Case
David J DonohueJoseph Lee BoyleRussell Paul Smith
David K. MorrisJoseph P Hudickruth sommers
David L. moffittJoy JamisonSam Weddle
David N. GivenKatherine C. ZiegenfusSandra Hamilton
David NathansonKathleen Lassiter ManscillSarah Bransom
Deborah K. PiscitelliKathryn Roney FaulknerSarah Olson
Deborah O. LiggettKathryn S. BrettSarah Peskin
Debra E. LevieKathy A Tonnessen, Ph.D.Sarah Sklare
Dee Renee EricksKathy SmithScott Sticha
Delora M. LoopeKathy TustanowskiSean Smith
Denis M OsowskiKeith B. DunbarSharon Paris
Denis P. GalvinKen Kehrer, Jr.SHIRLEY M. CLARK
Dennis BurnettKen PhillipsStephen R. Bruner
Denny HuffmanKenneth E. ApschnikatSteve Pittleman
Don BachmanKent R. CaveSteve Whitesell
Don H. CastleberryKim WatsonSteven Gazzano
Don JacksonKristine FisterSteven D. Bone
Don NeubacherLarry Edwin HendersonSteven Harrison
Donald A FalveyLarry N KilbornStuart L. Croll
Donald BarryLarry ThomasSuzanne S. Rozdilski
Donald Bruce FladmarkLarry WallingTerrence D. Moore
Donald E. MageeLaura Gail BishopTerry Goodrich
Donald FoxLaura Michele LuskTerry Michael Di Mattio
Donald H. Weir PhDLaura RotegardTerry Savage
Donna M. WhaleyLaurel Munson BoyerThomas Allen Smith
Donna WilliamsLeonard W. McKenzieThomas Griffiths
Douglas StoverLeslie Starr HartThomas M. Lorig
Dr. J. Scott HarmonLinda A. Towle, Mesa Verde National Park, RetiredThomas Patterson
Edward B. PatrovskyLinda FinnThomas Ritter
Edward D CarlinLisa SasserThomas W. Kopczyk
Edward F. Clark IIILora Anderson GaleTimothy J. Oliverius
Edward P WalzerLuke DaltonTimothy M Harvey
Edward PontbriandLynn D. JamisonTom Haraden
Edward S. KalbachM. Susan HurstTom Vaughan
Edwin A. HessionMarcia BlaszakVaughn Baker
Edwin L. RothfussMarcia KeenerVernon C. Gilbert
Elaine D HallMaria AbonnelVince Pareago
Elizabeth K. MurrayMark D FloraVito Spinale
Elizabeth SnyderMark KelleherW. Philip Koepp
Elizabeth Van ZandtMark LewisWarren E. Bielenberg
Ella S. RayburnMary D. PartschWarren Hill
Elwood LynnMary E. ElmsWarren Lee Brown
Erik R. HaugeMary G MartinWendy Artz
Erin Kaye BroadbentMary PartschWilliam A. Sanders
Ernest QuintanaMaryanne GerbauckasWilliam C Walters
Faye WalmsleyMatthew A. RossWilliam E. Cox
Florence I. TownsendMaureen D Welch (Mosie)William Gibson
Frances RutterMichael C. WarrenWilliam H. Ehorn
Frank Edward HastingsMichael E. GurlingWilliam J Carroll
Frank FialaMichael H. BuremanWilliam J. Halainen
Frank J DeckertMichael J. SprattWILLIAM LOFTUS
Frank P. WeedMichael K. JohnsonWilliam O'Donnell
Fred J. FagergrenMichael SoukupWilliam P. Quinn
Gail C. MenardMike TollefsonWouter Ketel
Gary BrandowMolly N. Ross
Gary CumminsNancy A. Nelson
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