Americans Stand With #MonumentsForAll: More than 2 million comments support protecting our nation’s heritage

On April 26, 2017, an Executive Order was signed that threatens to carve up – or even abolish – national monuments across the nation. These public lands, waters, and historic sites are not just our shared heritage, but vital to local communities and economies. As part of a 60 day public comment period, more than 2.7 million comments** have been submitted in support of 27 national monuments currently under review for potential elimination or reduction in size by the Department of the Interior. Americans from all walks of life, from sea to shining sea, have spoken up to defend our #MonumentsForAll. Some of these voices are highlighted below.

“Our sovereign nations spoke with one voice in support of the Bears Ears National Monument. This comment process makes it clear that all of the American people have joined us in solidarity to continue fighting to protect this living landscape.”

Carleton Bowekaty, Zuni Councilman and Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Co-Chair

“Papahānaumokuākea is critically important to Native Hawaiian culture—it is our ancestral place, the birthplace of all life. The monument serves as a conservation, climate, and cultural refuge for my granddaughter and future generations.”

Sol Kahoʻohalahala, seventh-generation Hawaiian from the island of Lanai and a member of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group

“One of the main reasons people visit the Taos area is to explore our Río Grande del Norte National Monument. Thanks to the national monument, we have seen our tourism and outdoor recreation sectors flourish. Fly-fishing and sportsmen opportunities in the monument are world-class and my business would not be where it is today without the Río Grande del Norte National Monument.”

Nick Streit, Taos Fly Shop

“Protecting the antiquities in Gold Butte has been a topic of public conversation in the City of Mesquite for well over a decade. Gold Butte is a national treasure that has undergone continuing destruction and the necessity for preservation was critical.”

Susan Holecheck, former mayor and City Council member of the City of Mesquite, Nevada

“As an immigrant I learned the history of America at National Monuments such as the African Burial Ground, Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality and Grand Staircase-Escalante. My husband Frank and I are grateful to Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton who set these special places aside for our benefit and enjoyment and that of future generations. We encourage President Donald Trump to protect our monuments, not reduce them.”

Audrey Peterman, Next 100 Coalition

“The Trump Administration asked what we think should be done with our national monuments. The millions who answered give a clear directive: Please conserve and properly care for our nation’s natural, cultural, historical, and spiritual treasures.”

Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries

“The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monuments sits at the biological crossroads of the Siskiyou Mountains, Cascade Mountains and the Great Basin.  It is a scientific treasure and the first and only monument proclaimed to protect biological diversity.  That is why I have joined more than 200 of my fellow scientists in calling for full protection of the Monument.”

Dr. Jack Williams, Senior Scientist for Trout Unlimited

“The Northeast Canyons Monument will help coastal communities in the long run. The science shows that similar ocean areas have resulted in more abundant fish populations that spillover the boundaries where they can be caught by fishermen. The Monument will also protect vital wintering habitat for Atlantic puffins and it is an important foraging environment for many resident and migrating marine mammals.”

Zack Klyver, Naturalist, Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company

“I am a county commissioner for Butte County, Idaho and a strong supporter of the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve – an undeniable success story.

“Idahoans love our public lands. Not only are our national forests and recreation lands some of the most important places to hunt and fish in the country, but they support local communities by creating jobs that can never be outsourced. I urge President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke to listen to the rural counties and communities impacted by this national monument review: leave our public lands alone.”

Rose Bernal, Butte County Commissioner, Idaho

“The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is so important to preserving our heritage in New Mexico for future generations. They also provide an economic and social based impact as well. With the purchase of any of our apparel with Organ Mountain Outfitters we donate a week’s worth of lunches to the children in poverty at our local public schools. This economic and social model of business is just one way our National Monuments give back to our communities.”

Chris Lang, owner of Organ Mountain Outfitters

“The establishment of the Antiquities Act that allows U.S. Presidents to designate monument sites was one of the most important domestic policies ever accomplished by the United States Government. Not only has it preserved precious federal land from destructive development and save vast watersheds like at the Grand Canyon-Parashant along the mighty Colorado River, it saves these lands for future generations in perpetuity.”

Jack Ehrhardt, General Building Contractor, Kingman, Arizona

“As the owner and CEO of an outdoor adventure company, I’ve watched this area grow exponentially as more and more visitors come, not only to Joshua Tree National Park, but also the 3 new Mojave Monuments – Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains, and Sand to Snow. In fact, I’ve seen a 20% increase in visitorship to our area year after year for the last 5 years.”

Kelly Crawford, owner of Joshua Tree Excursions

“As a Latina, I was raised with the idea of the ‘Dream Deferred,’ that my parents sacrificed their dreams so my sibling and I could live ours. Our monuments are a testament to the dreams of all Americans, and should be protected for future generations to experience safe spaces where we can dream, create and commune.”

Angela Florez, Valle del Sol

**At the time of posting, shows 1.3 million individual comments; however, this number is not reflective of the full breadth of comments. Dozens of concerned groups have gathered public comments in bundles to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and President Trump as part of the monuments review. A survey of those groups reveals a total of more than 2.5 million public comments in support of America’s national monuments. When uploaded to, however, each bundle displays as a single comment.