(published by Calwild.org) Our public lands are under existential attack from the Trump administration and Congress. In just the first five months of the Trump presidency, we have already seen attacks on the protection of our rivers and streams from coal waste, the attempted elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, a proposal to sell millions of acres of public land, the opening of public lands for easier resource extraction, a bill to end the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service’s law enforcement arms, and attacks on the Antiquities Act and national monuments. Frighteningly, there will be much more to come from these anti-public lands extremists in Congress and the Trump administration.
In April, the Trump administration requested a Department of Interior (DOI) “review” of all national monuments over 100,000 acres designated in the last 25 years. This is a major threat to the 27 national monuments it targets, including seven in California. We are working with many of our statewide partners to mount a robust defense and submit comments to the DOI now. CalWild is leading the efforts for the Giant Sequoia National Monument, and we’ve already created enough pressure to stop one local county’s Board of Supervisors from requesting any boundary reductions.
Please join our efforts by sending your comments to Secretary Zinke – link to the California Wilderness Coalition here – before the comment deadline of July 10th.
(sample letter – link to CALWILD to send off the digital version)
Dear Secretary Zinke,
I am writing today to ask you to maintain the Giant Sequoia National Monument as it is currently drawn and managed.
The Giant Sequoia National Monument is home to 33 groves of Giant Sequoias, one of the largest tree species in the world. The habitat is incredibly sensitive, and with climate change and drought more pervasive in the west, these amazing trees (that in some cases pre-date the creation of the United States), are even more threatened than before. Thousands of hikers, horseback riders, campers, anglers, hunters, and skiers visit the Giant Sequoia National Monument on an annual basis. These magnificent forests provide essential habitat for a variety of rare species, including the California spotted owl and Pacific fisher.
The National Monument is a vital piece of protected land that abuts Sequoia National Park and the Sequoia National Forest. Retaining its current boundaries is crucial to the proper and controlled management of the threatened and endangered species within. Boundary reductions could open the forest to a variety of threats from clear-cutting, road construction, and habitat fragmentation.
It is important to note that this Monument was created after years of careful and widely collected public input.
I urge you to broadly protect our collective American heritage. Thank you for your consideration.