Nancy S. Working: Monumental disgrace
August 28, 2017
Is it possible that we could forsake our public National Monuments that protect and preserve our rich cultural land, magnificent natural landscapes and water ways to promote mostly stone and metal memorials to those who fought against the United States in the Civil War, most of which were not put up until well after that war? Maybe the priorities are just not right, or maybe we are just distracted?
It was Republican President Theodore Roosevelt who stated, "Must we be reminded that, we have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation."
President Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to sign the American Antiquities Act, the same act our current administration is trying to discredit. This act was the first to protect out priceless cultural and natural resources.
Donald Trump tweeted recently, "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments." He has, however, approved the desecration of sacred Indian lands and the removal of EPA protections from public ;ands, water and forests.
He has encouraged mining, logging and drilling when we have abundant sun and wind power with scientists eager and willing to explore alternative fuels.
Donald Trump has stated that he is a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt. He bemoaned a rumor he had heard regarding Teddy's statue in New York City. There is a bust of President Roosevel in his office.
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It was President Roosevelt who stated, "It is also vandalism, wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forest, … It is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature … But at last it looks as if our people were awakening." President Roosevelt was hopeful at the time he said that.
Now, after Donald Trump ordered a review of our National Monuments, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended, sizable and destructive reductions to several National Monuments. To eliminate or reduce the size of a National Monument is a first for any president since the Antiquities Act was created and may require the approval of Congress.
Act now to remind the folks that work for us to preserve and protect our National Parks and Monuments, public and Indian lands from further abuse by permission of the government for sale to business or private interests.
Contact: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, 202-208-3100 (leave a message); Senator Michael Bennet, 202-224-5852; Senator Cory Gardner, 202-224-5941; Congressman Scott Tipton, 202-225-4761.
Nancy S. Working