A National Monument should be an honor to an area, not a punishment forced on by a President from over 3000 miles away. This monument was designated in order to appease outside special interest groups, and the voices of life-long residents and local tribal members who have loved and cared for this land the most were blatantly ignored.
"Historically, the Act calls for the President to designate the 'smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected,'" Zinke continued. "Despite this clear directive 'smallest area' has become the exception and not the rule. Under the President's leadership, I will work with local, state and Tribal governments to review monument designations made the past 20 years and make sure they work for the local communities.
At the heart of the debate is the question—WHY? Why do we need national monument designation for 1.35 million acres of federal lands now administered by the BLM and the US Forest Service? What are the addressed concerns and impacts that would be mitigated?
My dear Grandma Betty Jones taught me that over-reliance on federal management caused many intergenerational problems Native Americans still have to this day. She’d know, she is one of the few remaining, living examples of government relocation from the Glen Canyon Dam area. Native people had to tragically pass through a terrible history to understand what “federal management” means.