Utah’s national monuments have been getting a lot of attention lately, and rightly so. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has already hinted at erasing vast portions of Bears Ears National Monument. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned on our Monuments to America road trip across the West, it’s that each and every one of America’s national monuments have the same passionate and powerful local support as Bears Ears.
From Albuquerque, NM, we journeyed up to Flagstaff, AZ, to talk to county commissioners and councilwomen, conservationists and outfitters. Afterwards, it was on to Palm Springs, CA, where we heard from the Native American Land Conservancy, Mojave Desert Land Trust, and the National Parks Conservation Association at the base of Sand to Snow National Monument — rising a magnificent 11,000 feet in the background.
We’d like to share what they said with you. Here are their words:
Danny Giovale, founder, Kahtoola, Inc.:
“Many of my associates at Kahtoola have chosen to live in Flagstaff because of the access to protected public lands. When we protect and steward natural landscapes we guard against potential deterioration of their value by prioritizing long term health and unspoiled open places. Our national monuments provide enjoyment for millions of people and are powerful and sustainable economic engines.”
Celia Barotz, Flagstaff City Council:
“I stand with all of my constituents and with those members of Arizona’s congressional delegation who have asked Secretary Zinke to provide our outdoor economy with the stability business owners crave so they can be successful.”
Danielle Segura, Executive Director, Mojave Desert Land Trust:
“We fought for over a decade alongside diverse groups, from veterans, the Latino community, faith groups, to the local Girl Scouts, to Sand to Snow and Mojave Trails National Monuments designated. We have these monuments because our community wants them.”
Michael Madrigal, President, Native American Land Conservancy:
“California’s national monuments are where we, as Native Americans, reconnect to our history and nurture our youth. This can only happen if the lands continue to be protected and preserved as monuments. All of us — not only Native Americans, but all Americans — rely on them to inform our past and guarantee our future.”