National Monuments Matter
Let me begin today by saying, I despise the 'slippery slope' cliche. This is the argument that is being made right now as the Interior Department undertakes a presidential ordered review of all national monument designations since 1996. The fear underpinning the 'slippery slope' argument is that rescinding the status or even reducing the acreage of our national monuments amounts to nothing less than a direct attack on public access to public lands. While I believe the simplistic 'slippery slope' cliche fails to capture the true threat to sportsmen access to undeveloped public lands, I wholly agree with the logic that underpins the argument.
The vast majority of public lands in the United States are open to resource development, whether it be logging, mining, grazing, or oil & gas development. Most development takes place on Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands. The subset of public lands set aside as national parks, national monuments, wildlife refuges, wilderness or some other form of conservation land-use designation are dwarfed in comparison to those open to development.
To remove or reduce national monument status to those lands to which it has been bequeathed is a slap in the face to all sportsmen and women! The loss of conservation lands, for all intents and purposes, is permanent.
Chances are good that if you're reading this blog you are a part of the sporting community. Take a look at your favorite places to hunt and fish then ask yourself, just how protected are they? Concerned? Then I suggest you contact your favorite outdoor club/ organization and ask what position they've taken on the issue.
Your voice matters in sustaining your access to your public lands!
This blog was posted on the original Conservation Angler blogger page on 6/6/2017 and has been slightly updated for posting here.
Until next time,