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Action Item 1: Crunch time for National Monuments and Antiquities Act !!

Starting with Teddy Roosevelt, 16 presidents have used the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect some of our most important landscapes, as well as unique Native American and other cultural sites as national monuments, for the enjoyment of ALL people.  Many subsequently became national parks (e.g., the Grand Canyon, Acadia, Zion).

The Trump administration is now intent on abolishing these protections and attacking the process.  On April 26, Pres. Trump ordered Interior Secretary Zinke to review all lands and waters designated as national monuments by the past three presidents, i.e., going back to 1992.  Experts believe that the initial targets are areas that the fossil-fuel industry has been wishing to exploit, especially Bears Ears, designated during the last weeks of the Obama presidency, and Grand Staircase-Escalante, protected by Pres. Bill Clinton in 1996.

Beyond these specific targets, what is at stake is the valuable Antiquities Act, which has been respected and well-used by presidents for more than a century.  Now we have an administration and Congress intent on fossil-fuel development on public lands and waters, and a supreme court that might allow what has never been even requested; the de-listing of national monuments.

Time is limited.  The order gives Sec. Zinke 45 days to file an interim recommendation, and 120 days to issue suggestions, (a) for legislation, and/or (b) for Trump to revoke or slim down the size of any monuments that cover 100,000 acres or more that were created under the Antiquities Act.

TAKE ACTION:  The Antiquities Act is among our most important conservation tools; we cannot afford to have it destroyed or altered.  Without delay, call Secretary Ryan Zinke at 1-202-601-3839.  Tell him that our national monuments were created with overwhelming public support, and must remain protected.  Any attempt to revoke or shrink our national monuments is an assault on our natural, historical, and cultural heritage.


Action Item 2: Our Big South Fork NRRA in danger

Of the numerous environmental regulations the current Congress is intent on tearing up is one sorely needed to protect our Big South Fork NRRA.  This regulation is a revision to the almost 40-year old 9B rule about oil & gas drilling in National Parks.  Without this revision, roughly 60% of all oil & gas operations in the National Park System could operate without permits or oversight; funding for reclamation would not be assured; etc.

A Congressional Joint Resolution, HJR 46, could quickly undo this sorely needed revision that took years of careful deliberation to develop.  The BSF is uniquely affected because, among the hundreds of units of the National Park System, it is at the top in number of sites (152 active ones) where subsurface mineral rights are owned by private companies.  Do not allow our beautiful Park to be destroyed by HJR 46!  A special horror of the Act that would allow 9B revisions to be torn up is that, once the regulation is repealed, federal agencies may NEVER pass another one that is “substantially similar.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Without delay, contact your Representative* and Senators Alexander and Corker (contact info below) and urge them strongly to oppose House Joint Resolution 46 (Gosar, AZ-R), which threatens one of Tennessee’s beautiful national parks.  Identify yourself as a Tennessean and a lover of the BSFNRRA.  Our beautiful park, which so benefits the local economy, must be protected!  Our citizens, and the park staff, have worked for years to develop the fair and protective revisions of 9B regulations; do not tear them up!

*[If you live in Tennessee’s 6th district, it is especially important you contact Rep. Diane Black (202-225-4231), who is a sponsor of HJR 46.]

Senators e-mail: http://lastname.senate.gov/public/

Phone: Alexander 202-224-4944; Corker, 202-224-3344

Congressmen’s e-mail https://lastname.house.gov/contact-me

Phone:  call switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask for name


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