Action Alert – Comment on National Monument Review
Submit comments to the Department of the Interior on the review of National Monuments and Marine National Monuments and to NOAA on the review of Marine National Monuments and National Marine Sanctuaries.
Dear ESA Member,
We ask you to submit comments to the Department of the Interior (DOI) and NOAA on the administration’s review of National Monuments.
Your expertise, experiences, and perspectives would provide valuable input to DOI and NOAA as they review these protected sites. Short, concise comments based on sound evidence are most effective.
First Comment Opportunity – DOI:
On April 26, President Trump signed an executive order initiating a review of National Monuments designated or expanded under the Antiquities Act of 1906. As a result, Interior is now considering reversing or shrinking protective designations for 22 National Monuments and 5 Marine National Monuments. Sites under review include Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico, Giant Sequoia in California, Basin and Range in Nevada, Craters of the Moon in Idaho, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and other important sites.
Interior is accepting public comments on the monument review process until July 10. We encourage you to submit your own comments before the 10th. Comments can be submitted online.
As part of this review, one of the factors under consideration is whether the designated monuments include “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest” (54 USC § 320301(a)).
These lands under review encompass valuable natural and cultural sites, as well as resources of significance to ecology, geology, archaeology, paleontology, and other branches of science. They include important wildlife corridors, protect habitat, and provide opportunities for scientific research and education. They are also valuable sites for outdoor recreation and offer visitors an opportunity to appreciate our country’s natural beauty.
ESA will be submitting comments urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke not to reverse, roll back, or otherwise undermine the designations of the National Monuments under review. We will highlight the ecological importance of these sites and the value they hold for scientific research.
Second Comment Opportunity– NOAA:
Additionally, the Department of Commerce – specifically the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – is leading a separate but related review of Marine National Monuments, as well as National Marine Sanctuaries, in accordance with the president’s executive order implementing an America-first offshore energy strategy. Along with the 5 Marine National Monuments, 6 National Marine Sanctuaries are being reviewed and could be reduced in size and opened to oil and gas exploration.
NOAA is accepting public comments until July 26. We encourage you to submit your own comments before the 26th. Comments can be submitted here.
ESA will also be submitting comments to NOAA emphasizing the scientific value of these marine sites and opposing changes in their designations.
We encourage you to share your thoughts with DOI and NOAA.
Thank you for being a voice for ecology,
ESA Public Affairs Office
For suggestions on how to write public comments, check out “Tips for Submitting Effective Comments” from regulations.gov.