There is a growing movement across the west (including Alaska) of anti federal lands militant groups (AKA the anti federal land militia movement) emboldened by the current political climate in Washington DC.
These armed militants who have harassed federal land managers, regularly vandalize federal property, took part in a armed take over of a national wildlife refuge in Washington state (which cost the American taxpayer 3 million dollars in damage) and sent armed sharpshooters to confront Bureau of Land Management rangers over public lands protection in a well publicized armed standoff in southern Nevada will stop at nothing in their armed struggle against the U.S. Government over YOUR national public lands.
These home grown terrorists deeply believe that the U.S. Government ownership of national parks, national monuments, national conservation areas, national wildlife refuges and national forests is illegal.
The best way to explain their position is a comment made to me in a March 2016 meeting with congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) who said to me “I do not represent the people of the state of Utah in congress, I represent the people of the territory of Utah which is illegally occupied by the U.S. Government”, this was in reference to U.S. Government ownership of national parks in Utah. NOTE: Congressman Chaffetz has recently resigned from congress.
A similar view was expressed to me in recent meetings with House Committee on Natural Resources Chair, congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) as well as congresswoman Cynthia Wilson (R-WY) and congressman Don Young (R-Alaska), in fact there are about 100 members of the House of Representatives (all from western states) which subscribe to this belief and support in various ways the anti federal government lands movements and there are about 20 members of the U.S. Senate who feel the same way and all in various ways support and encourage the anti public lands movement.
Sadly on August 24th the President of the United States will take steps to fulfill the goal of these anti federal lands militants and politicians by eliminating various national monuments across the western U.S.
Not only do these militants have the support of the President but also of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke the person who heads the agency which oversees all of our national public lands and will outline for the President on August 24th what steps to take to eliminate national public lands, YOUR national monuments.
During the two month long public period comment period millions of Americans expressed their support for keeping America’s national monuments fully intact and protected. But during a western states “public listening tour” Secretary Zinke did NOT meet with the public or groups supporting national monuments. Instead he met with people who oppose federal land protection such as the San Juan County Board of Commissioners in southeastern Utah where anti federal government sentiment runs deep.
So even though the public comment period is officially over we are not letting our voices in support of America’s national monuments remain silent.
We are contacting Secretary Zinke daily and letting him know that we want ALL of America’s national monuments protected and NOT eliminated. I hope that you will make your voice heard in support of national monuments as well. We have to stand up to those who have no concern or respect for what really make America great, our natural heritage.
Contact for Secretary Zinke:
Twitter: @SecretaryZinke NOTE: Zinke told me that Twitter is the best way to communicate with him, he said he reads every tweet.
Phone: (202) 208-7351 NOTE: This number is the office of the Secretary of the Interior.
Thank you for being the positive light standing against the darkness which seeks to destroy our national monuments.
Team member Sierra Club Protect Wild Utah Team
Co-Team Leader Protect California/Nevada National Monuments Team
Chapter Chair of the Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter which serves Ventura and Santa Barbara counties