Wildlife Federations Call for Protection of National Monuments

Two people look out over the Upper Missouri Breaks NM. - CC License - Bob Wick

Two people look out over the Upper Missouri Breaks NM. – CC License – Bob Wick

Nine state wildlife federation organizations from across the West along with the National Wildlife Federation sent a letter today to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to conclude his Department’s review of national monuments and recommend no changes to any of the monuments under scrutiny.

In their letter, the Montana Wildlife Federation, Wyoming Wildlife Federation, Colorado Wildlife Federation, Idaho Wildlife Federation, Nevada Wildlife Federation, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Association of Northwest Steelheaders (Oregon)  Conservation Northwest (Washington), Planning & Conservation League (California), and National Wildlife Federation noted the important role that national monuments play in protecting wildlife, habitat, and public access to public land.

“As you know, the protection of wildlife habitat has been one of the essential uses of the Antiquities Act for more than a century, from Theodore Roosevelt’s designation of the 600,000 acre Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 in order to protect habitat for the Roosevelt elk. Since that time, monuments have been designated specifically to protect large habitat areas across the West, in both rural areas and adjacent to fast-growing urban centers, with widespread local support,” the letter noted.

“We urge you to bring this review to an expeditious close and consistently uphold the principle that wildlife and habitat are objects of historic and scientific interest that merit the application of the Act. The prudent, patriotic, and scientifically sound action is to uphold Antiquities Act and declare that all monuments will remain as they were legally designated.”

The Interior Secretary  is expected to announce the results of the Department’s review on August 24.