Dear President Trump and Secretary Zinke,
[Your personal comment will go here.]
I support preserving and protecting Nevada’s and Utah’s national monuments, including Grand Staircase-Escalante, Gold Butte, and Basin and Range.
Since President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law in 1906, 16 presidents—eight Republicans and eight Democrats—have used the authority granted by the act to safeguard public lands, oceans, and historic sites in order to share America’s story with future generations. The Antiquities Act offers each president an opportunity to preserve a lasting legacy.
Grand Staircase-Escalante, Gold Butte, and Basin and Range national monuments are exactly the types of landscapes the Antiquities Act was enacted to conserve. Containing thousands of cultural sites and artifacts, rare and threatened species, scenic and scientific wonders, and the monumental work of land art “City,” these monuments are cherished by tens of thousands of people across their states, the nation, and the world as evidenced by the international tourism they attract.
The people of Utah and Nevada fought long and hard to protect these special places. The process leading up to these monument designations included decades of discussion and negotiations, a public meeting for Basin and Range and Gold Butte in Las Vegas, and outreach to stakeholders across the spectrum. Local citizens, business and tourism leaders, youth groups, Native Americans, elected officials, conservationists, archaeologists, recreation enthusiasts, and sportsmen agree that they should be protected for future generations.
Each of these national monuments was originally part of a larger proposal to protect crucial habitat, cultural resources, traditional tribal homelands, sensitive species, and more. In each case, the boundaries of the monuments were scaled back, in spite of the efforts of advocates working to protect the areas.
What’s more, protecting special places such as Grand Staircase-Escalante and Gold Butte national monuments encourages tourism, increases expenditures at local businesses, and creates a desirable place for people to live and work. In the years since Grand Staircase-Escalante was established, the number of jobs in the area has increased by 38 percent and per capita income has risen 30 percent, according to a 2011 study by Headwaters Economics. Meanwhile, Nevadans also have a lot to gain by protecting their public lands. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy is responsible for $14.9 billion in consumer spending and 147,600 direct jobs in Nevada. An economic study by Applied Analysis found that if just 10 percent of new visitors to Gold Butte decided to spend the night in Mesquite, the total economic gain for the community would be $2.7 million a year.
Please leave Grand Staircase-Escalante, Gold Butte, and Basin and Range intact so that future generations will be able to explore, enjoy, and learn from these national treasures.
[First Name] [Last Name]