On Thursday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that Donald Trump alter at least three national monuments established by his predecessors. Zinke recommended reducing the size of Bear’s Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah along with Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Trump ordered Zinke to examine more than two dozen sites established by Clinton, Obama and George W. Bush under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The report also calls for changing management rules for several sites, like allowing fishing in marine monuments where it is currently prohibited. In addition, there are fears that releasing national lands for private use is in order to allow oil and gas drilling where it’s not been allowed before.
“Teddy Roosevelt would roll over in his grave if he could see what Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke are trying to do to our national treasures today,” said Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Secretary Zinke’s secret report to the president is the latest step in a rigged process to try and turn over our public lands to oil and gas companies.”
Over the past three years, I’ve visited National Parks in nine states as I traveled the country with my family. I believe national parks are important because we need to preserve the natural world for the health and beauty of our planet. If we turned everything into parking lots and drilling sites, all of the world’s natural beauty would be lost. My goal in life used to be to see as much of the world as possible before I die, but now it’s to see as much as possible before it all is destroyed by man.
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All photos by me, summer 2017 in Colorado.