President Donald Trump is following through on a promise: that he will review 27 national monuments established by 3 former presidents and allow for new energy development on those sites. Put simply: your favorite national monuments could someday soon feature fracking wells.
First on the list is Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would like to reduce the size of in order to open it up for oil and gas drilling. Bears Ears has been a political target in particular, as it was designated during the final days of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The national monument protects land deemed sacred by the Navajo Nation, encompassing 100,000 different archaeological sites as well as ancient abandoned cliff dwellings. Today, members of the tribe visit these sites for ceremonies and rituals.
These national monuments don’t just protect human antiquities, but fragile wildlife as well.
Giant Sequoia National Monument was established during Bill Clinton’s presidency, much to the dismay of logging companies. Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument serves to protect a myriad of oceanic life, like whales and sea turtles, from human encroachment.
All of the national monuments on the list will be reviewed by August.
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