Friday, August 25, 2017
Statement by Jaime Matyas, president and CEO of the Student Conservation Association, re: the Secretary of the Interior’s review of 27 national monuments:
“On behalf of the 85,000 SCA volunteers who have protected and restored our nation’s public lands, I call on the administration to reject any recommendation to shrink or undo any national monument through executive action.
“Recommendations included in the report submitted by Interior Secretary Zinke to President Trump are not being made available to the American people. These recommendations have the potential to negatively impact current and future generations’ access to and enjoyment of their public lands. The American people deserve to know if part of their natural heritage is to be given away.
“Of the more than 1.3 million people who commented during the review period, more than 99 percent were in favor of keeping their national monuments intact. These unspoiled lands and waters are generating substantial economic opportunities through recreation and tourism. In many cases, they are directly tied to our nation’s identity.
“In addition, these public lands are ideal settings for each generation to learn about our country’s natural and cultural legacy, to relish their first camping or wilderness experience, and to gain life skills and conservation values.
“Through their service, SCA volunteers have been transformed by nature’s ability to bring out the best in people by fostering connections and building community. America’s public lands make America great and we call on the administration to take no actions that will undermine this legacy.”