Washington, D.C. – Today, the President signed an Executive Order directing the administration to review national monuments over 100,000 acres designated after 1996 under the Antiquities Act. A significant number of the monuments covered under this review represent designations made under the Antiquities Act by previous presidents to celebrate the diverse people and places that have contributed to our nation’s history. The Next 100 Coalition urges the Administration and Congress to use this review to consider what additional designations are necessary to fill in missing elements of our national narrative, as well as represent a future that respects all cultures and engages all people. The President’s action is a threat to our nation’s diverse and inclusive national monuments.
The Order calls for the review of places such as the Bears Ears National Monument, Gold Butte National Monument, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and so many others that reflect the diverse experiences of our country, respect all cultures, and engage all people.
The Next 100 Coalition strongly supported the designation of these special places as national monuments, and continues to support them as essential cultural and historical touchstones for a variety of people and communities.
We support the judicious use of the Antiquities Act by presidents of both political parties to protect, respect, and elevate diverse and inclusive histories. We will hold the Administration and other elected and appointed leaders accountable for any attempts to marginalize, erase, or censor our stories, histories and experiences in this country.
The designation of places like Bears Ears National Monument demonstrates that U.S. leaders are taking steps toward healing from the painful history of attempts to alienate communities and eradicate cultures and beliefs. Today’s action by the President unfortunately takes us giant steps backward and reopens painful wounds for many communities.
We reiterate the significance of the values summarized in the Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Our National Parks, National Forests, and other Public Lands and Waters (2017). A powerful sign of our democratic ideals, these places belong to all Americans – rich and poor, urban and rural, young and old, from all backgrounds, genders, cultures, religious viewpoints, and walks of life.
The Next 100 Coalition of civil rights, environmental justice, conservation, religious and community organizations is advocating for greater inclusion of diverse communities in our country’s national parks and other public lands.