President Trump’s Latest Executive Order a Direct Attack on Our National Monuments


DATE: April 26, 2017
CONTACT: Angela Gonzales, Social Media Director
P: 202.419.3712 |

Washington, DC — Today, President Trump directed the Department of the Interior to review dozens of national monuments — those designated since 1996 and over 100,000 acres — to determine if existing boundaries are “well beyond the areas in need of protection” and to recommend possible changes to the monuments.

The Executive Order puts a bullseye on the Antiquities Act of 1906, an invaluable tool that has been used by Democratic and Republican presidents for more than a century to protect natural, historic and cultural sites across the country. The law has allowed for the preservation of iconic places like Grand Canyon and Acadia National Parks, and for places that have expanded the stories told in our national parks like Stonewall, César E. Chávez and Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monuments.

In addition to preserving some of America’s most majestic landscapes and important cultural history, national park sites drive significant economic activity for their local communities. In 2016, national park sites originally designated by the Antiquities Act contributed over $7.3 billion to the U.S. economy, more than $5.4 billion of which was spent in the local communities around the park sites. Downsizing or changing park designations, as this Executive Order aims to do, would have serious negative impacts on the U.S. economy.

Statement by Kristen Brengel, Executive Director of National Parks Action Fund:

“This Executive Order is a direct attack on our national parks and the value they bring to the lives of all Americans. The Trump administration is reviewing the worthiness of our historic, cultural and natural heritage. This is a sad day for all Americans – our conservation lands and history is on the chopping block.

“America’s national monuments are extraordinary places that are nationally significant historic, sacred, and conservation sites. An arbitrary review to remove protection for these sites is shortsighted and ill-conceived. For more than a century, presidents of both parties have used the Antiquities Act to preserve some of our most treasured sites. To politicize our public lands and threaten their very existence is a betrayal of our nation’s long conservation legacy, and to undermine the Antiquities Act will have a direct impact on future attempts to preserve federally owned public lands worthy of additional protections.”

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About National Parks Action Fund
National Parks Action Fund (Action Fund) is the 501(c)(4) of National Parks Conservation Association. The Action Fund’s fundamental goal is to protect, restore, and fund the National Park System by informing the public about threats facing our parks, educating members of Congress about proposals to help parks, and influencing candidates’ positions to forward those proposals.