Action Ended On
What was at Stake
Our country’s national monuments hold precious cultural and biological significance, are incredibly popular, and funnel money into local economies. The previous presidential administration launched an unprecedented assault on these lands and waters in order to open them up for drilling, mining, and other commercial exploitation. Not only did it reject the values of conservation, the Trump administration dealt a blow to Tribes that had reached a hard-fought and historic agreement with the federal government over the shared management of Bears Ears. Through legal action, Earthjustice and our partners have countered every attempt to slash our national monuments, and we will not stop until they are protected once more. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has recommended President Biden restore protections to the monuments and we urge him to heed her advice.
In its first day in office, the Biden-Harris team ordered a review of the Trump administration’s rollback of federal public land and marine protections. Former President Trump carved out nearly 2 million acres from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante national monuments, representing the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history. Trump also enabled destructive commercial fishing practices in Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England — 4,913 square miles of pristine ocean ecosystem. This removed one of the most valuable protections monument designation affords to the area, a biologically important habitat for whales, rare cold water corals, and other marine species. It also flew in the face of findings that nearby fisheries were actually more productive after the monument was created.
The new administration is now reviewing these destructive and illegal actions. Send a letter to thank the Biden-Harris team for the work they are doing and encourage the administration to fully restore and protect Grand Staircase-Escalante and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine monument, and protect Bears Ears as the Tribes requested.
As Earthjustice's attorneys work in court to defend national monuments across the country, you are integral to the fight. The administration needs to hear that this is a priority for the American public. Restoring the monuments will help protect these irreplaceable natural places, cultural resources, and important habitat for wildlife while also helping heal the relationship of the federal government with Native American Tribes.