Scattered trees, hills of sand, jagged rocks.
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah © Nick Hall


The Nature Conservancy Disappointed by Recommended Changes to National Monuments

Arlington, VA

The Nature Conservancy released the following statement from President and Chief Executive Officer Mark R. Tercek regarding the widely reported leaked recommendations from the Department of the Interior’s national monuments review.

“We are disappointed that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended modifying several national monument designations. In particular, The Nature Conservancy previously stated our perspective that Bears Ears National Monument in Utah should remain as is, and we do not support the recommended changes to that site or any others across the country.

“National monuments and other public lands and waters play an important role in American society. They protect critical wildlife habitat, boost local economies, provide recreation opportunities and improve the health and well-being of the American people. Farming, ranching, forestry and fishing jobs need healthy lands and waters. And local communities and small businesses depend on robust recreation economies.

“The Nature Conservancy supports the Antiquities Act as an important conservation tool for preserving key natural areas and cultural resources. Lands and waters designated as monuments are already owned by the federal government and are in the public domain. Monument designations simply provide additional protections for these vital landscapes, bringing economic, environmental, recreational, social and other benefits to local communities.

“Each proposed, and then designated, national monument site has a different set of circumstances. When designating these protected outdoor spaces, we believe it’s essential to inform decisions using science and to involve community stakeholders in a transparent, collaborative way.

“We are similarly concerned that recommendations have been made about some monuments without visiting those sites or meeting with stakeholders. We urge President Donald Trump to rigorously review those recommendations and engage the local public before implementing any changes to sites that were not visited.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.