Our public lands are facing a monumental threat — your voice is important. Protected public lands are the heritage of the United States. These lands set our country apart from most and make it great. They are assets that each person in this country has the privilege and the right to enjoy. And, at this crucial moment in history, they need your help.
A presidential executive order signed in late April claims that national monument designations made in the last 21 years may “burden State, tribal, and local governments,” and “curtail economic growth.” The facts prove otherwise. A recent study of the outdoor recreation industry concludes that public lands generate huge economic activity: The outdoor recreation economy supports 7.6 million jobs and generates $59.2 billion dollars in state and local tax revenues, $65.3 billion in federal tax revenues, and $887 billion in consumer spending. Taking these lands away from the people would have devastating economic consequences and impoverish our freedom to enjoy our country’s natural wonders.
Under the recent executive order, the Department of Interior has begun a review of the Antiquities Act and all national monuments designated since 1996, including; Bears Ears, San Gabriel Mountains, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Giant Sequoia, and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks. Today the DOI has opened a public comment period soliciting input from the general public about the use and designation of these public lands. Input received will be used in the DOI’s evaluation and decision-making. Of all the national monuments under review, Bears Ears has been singled out and is under the greatest threat. Designated a national monument last fall, Bears Ears has only been given a 15-day window for public comment, while all other national monuments under review have been given a 60-day window for comments to be received.
While all national monuments need to be fought for, because of the limited 15-day window, we must first rally in support of Bears Ears.
What you can do:
1) Stay posted on the Call to Action:
Follow Access Fund, Outdoor Alliance, and the Bay Area Climbers Coalition.
Today, Outdoor Alliance has launched a public comment initiative to streamline the process and to ensure ample input is received and voices are heard. Because of its urgency, the initial focus is on gathering support for Bears Ears. After that comment period closes, focus will shift to all remaining National Monuments.
Keep informed by following Access Fund, Outdoor Alliance, and the Bay Area Climbers Coalition throughout the DOI’s review process of national monuments.
Right now, the Access Fund, the American Alpine Club, and representatives from the climbing community are on a mission to Capitol Hill to advocate for protecting public lands, outdoor recreation, and to improve climbing management.
2) Let Secretary Zinke know what you think:
National Monument designations should not be reduced or rescinded.
Make your voice hear through the Access Fund campaign portal and send a letter to Secretary Zinke letting him know your concerns.
3) Learn to become an advocate:
Join the Climber Advocate Summit in Oakland, CA on September 9.
The Bay Area Climbers Coalition is co-hosting the Access Fund’s Climber Advocate Summit on September 9 in Oakland. The summit will include a full day of workshops and panel discussions on how climbers can have an impact. The event is suited for both experienced advocates and those who are interested in getting more involved with conservation and climbing advocacy.
4) Get Involved Locally:
Be apart of your local climbing organization.
Join the conversation locally as we work to refine and define action steps for the Bay Area Climbers Coalition and the regional climbing community to make an impact. Shoot us a message with your thoughts and how you feel you can contribute to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not from the SF Bay Area? Find your local climbing organization here.
Regardless where in the country you are from, we enjoy our public lands today because brave women and men have stood up for them and have made their voices heard at other crucial moments in history. From President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir through countless energized citizens and public officials, these national treasures have been preserved and protected for generations. Please join us in making sure they remain protected for future generations.
Whether you climb, bike, kayak, hike, run, camp, backpack, hunt, fish, forage, photograph, explore, get lost, or get found – decisions being made about our public lands affect you. Whether you frequent them or have never been, these decisions will have an impact on our country well in to the future. Don’t let your voice go unheard – this is our land. Never stop recreating.