Letter to the Editor - Trump assault on public lands


December 7, 2017


You’ve probably read that President Trump has slashed the size of the Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent, and has shrunk the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument to half its size. Conservation groups and Native American tribes are filing suit to stop this unprecedented attack on public lands.

The outcome of this is critically important to the people of north-central Montana. If Trump and his Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, succeed, no national monument will be safe from presidential tampering, including our own beloved Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

Make no mistake about it. What’s at stake here is the future of public lands. Will these monuments stand and continue to protect the historical, archeological and other treasures they contain or will they become a gift to oil, gas and other resource extraction industries?

I’m hoping for a positive outcome. The president does not have the legal authority to shrink or dismantle national monuments. The American people have clearly demonstrated they oppose changes to these monuments.

What can we do to help protect our monuments? Call or write to our senators and representative. Call or write to Zinke. Write a letter to the editor. Support a conservation group. Get your friends involved. We need to speak out against this assault on our public lands.

Karen Datko



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