Monuments to America Road Trip: From Flagstaff to Palm Springs

Our RV in Mojave Trails National Monument in Southern California, our fourth stop on the Monuments to America tour.

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:

In downtown Flagstaff, AZ, where Aaron Weiss began our press event in front of the Flagstaff City Hall.

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.”
In Flagstaff, we were joined by Chip Davis, Deputy District Director for U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran as well as a great crowd of local monument supporters.

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.”
In Palm Springs, our press event was held at the Wildlands Conservancy’s Whitewater Preserve, a spectacular piece of the southern California desert boarding Sand to Snow National Monument.

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.”
Speakers, local leaders, and citizens who attended our Palm Springs press event.

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.”
CWP driving through the southern California desert.
Stopping to stretch our legs in the remarkable Mojave Trails National Monument.