Monumental May Kicks Off With Small Business Week

Over the past year, millions of Americans have spoken up to defend our national monuments through public comments, participation in rallies and other events, on social media, and beyond. This May, we are celebrating the many reasons why Americans from sea to shining sea love and cherish our public lands, oceans, and cultural and historic sites.

Small businesses in communities surrounding national monuments depend on protected public lands to draw tourism, grow property values, attract and recruit employees, and otherwise sustain and grow. In fact, last fall nearly 600 businesses signed a letter to support keeping existing national monuments and their protections intact. Recent studies have shown conserving national monuments helps to draw new residents, tourists, businesses, and investments to surrounding communities. Below, small business owners share why they stand with our national monuments.

You can join the Monumental May celebration by sharing your own photo and story with members of Congress using our webform.


“Our family is proud to support the on going efforts to preserve and protect the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Protected lands are important to our business because of branding opportunities and the attraction of tourism dollars. They are important to our family for educational and recreational purposes. Mostly, they are important to our son and the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.”

Tyrell Thacker and Arianna Parsons
Owners, Beck’s Coffee


“Here in our community, the [Grand Staircase-Escalante National] monument is, completely, what drives the economy. We’re in love with this land and with the people who come to visit it. This National Monument is a national treasure.”

Blake Spalding
Co-Owner, Hell’s Backbone Grill


“National Monuments protect our public lands and honor traditional cultures. Here in New Mexico, the Rio Grande del Norte is also an economic engine that attracts visitors, generates tourism, creates job opportunities and benefits the entire community.”

Stuart Wilde
Owner, Wild Earth Adventures


“Now that Gold Butte has been designated a national monument, as a small business owner in Mesquite, NV, I’m excited for the economic opportunities it will bring to our community.”

Terri Rylander
Owner, Advanced Marketing Collateral


“Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains National Monuments have been bright new stars on the map, offering our visitors new and exciting places to explore in the California Desert. With more opportunities for recreation and exploration in the area our guests have a reason to stay a few extra days, and to plan their return trip sooner.”

Heidi Grunt, Jane Grunt-Smith, Paul Smith, and Aden Grunt
29 Palms Inn & Campbell House


“The economy in southern Oregon is very dependent on tourism. Public lands, like the Cascade-Siskiyou National monument, provide a place for people like me to host our clientele and offer the services that keep a roof over my head.”

Stuart Warren
Owner, Rogue Spey


“We have renovated an historic cabin that’s been in Escalante over a hundred years. The cabin is a direct connection to the Mormon pioneers who settled the region and Garfield County’s new economy.”

Lisa and Bob Hartman
Owners, The Old Bailey Place


“Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument can become a first-class destination for visitors to northern Maine, creating an economic engine for the local community. It’s already had a positive impact.”

Anita Mueller
Co-founder, Moose Prints Gallery and Maine Photography Workshops


“Our business depends on a healthy and vibrant ocean. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Monument protects a remarkable habitat that will result in a greater abundance of fish for ecosystem functioning and for fishermen.”

R. Zack Klyver
Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co.


“Protection of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is important not only to the well-being of our community, but more importantly, to the stewardship of dwindling wild places that are being subject to needless resource development.”

Charlie Neumann
Co-Owner, Willow Canyon Outdoor Company


“Over the past 18 years, we have greeted visitors, answered questions, provided directions to trails and viewpoints, and generally enjoyed the reflected prestige of a national landmark. Clearly [Cascade-Siskiyou National] monument designation has helped put us on the map.”

Diarmuid McGuire
Owner, Green Springs Inn


“The designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has brought new customers, energy, and investment, and is creating hope that the region now has a bright economic future.”

Matthew Polstein
Owner, New England Outdoor Center


“Our business depends on the quiet industry from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. All national monuments need protections so our grandchildren’s children can make new discoveries.”

Sandy and Ricki Brown
Owners, La Luz Desert Retreat


“While I don’t live next to a National Monument, the knowledge that these wild places, full of ecological and cultural integrity, are protected is essential to my life as a Montanan. Once these untrammeled lands are disturbed, they are forever changed. I’ve worked abroad, in places where sacred land is not respected, seeing these examples makes me appreciate our protected National Monuments even more. These open and public spaces are where I fill my cup of inspiration which means I can continue to pursue my passions and my career… because we sure can’t make anymore.”

Jason Thompson
Jason Thompson Photography

“I have seen a significant increase in tourists stopping in – so much so that I have been able to expand my business, which continues to flourish. I strongly support our [California Desert] National Monuments.”

Carlos Reyes
Art FX


“Twenty three years ago a small group of friends decided to build a guest lodge in Boulder, Utah on the edge of the lands that became Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.   Our lives have been formed and sustained by the surrounding public lands, and enriched by the wonderful people we’ve introduced to our high desert home. We have grandchildren now, and we want them to be able to have the same experience.”

Scott Berry
Co-owner Boulder Mountain Lodge


“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
Founder, Organ Mountain Outfitters