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SAINT PAUL, MN – Minnesota State Reps. Tina Liebling, Rick Hansen, Alice Hausman, and Jennifer Schultz joined state legislators from 44 states calling for President Trump and Congress to maintain designations of national monuments, following the president’s recent executive order calling for a review of the Antiquities Act. The move could jeopardize national monuments designated by presidents in the past two decades.
Three hundred twenty five members of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) signed a letter urging the president and Congress not to rescind or shrink the lands currently designated as national monuments under the Antiquities Act, including nearly two dozen from Minnesota.
“Minnesotans cherish our public lands,” remarked Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL – Rochester). “Minnesotans have a long history of supporting our shared public spaces, with the Boundary Waters being a prime example. President Trump’s actions to possibly reduce our national monuments is disturbing to say the least. I’m proud to join legislators from across the country urging the president not to abandon our shared heritage.”
“That President Trump might shrink and possibly sell off our national monuments is troubling,” remarked Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL – South Saint Paul). “Minnesotans value our outdoors not just for hunting, fishing, recreation, and tourism, but for their intrinsic value for all future generations. There’s no monetary value the President can place on these lands that will compensate the loss to future generations.”
“Our public lands reflect our values and our history,” said Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL – Saint Paul). “Now, more than ever, we must preserve these important lands for future generations. These extraordinary monuments and designated public lands are national treasures and we must implore our president to resist reducing or rescinding their designation.”
“On a true bipartisan basis, for generations we have gone to great lengths to protect and preserve these lands across our great nation,” Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL – Duluth) said. “To remove these protections – put in place over a century ago by Teddy Roosevelt – has the potential for great harm to states and communities alike. That President Trump would even float the idea of opening up these special monuments to development should alarm each of us, and I proudly join other state legislators in resisting this attempt to take us backwards.”
"National monuments hold an important place in our history and culture in the United States. No president has attempted to revoke a national monument before," said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of NCEL. "We urge the president to work with Congress and state legislators to increase funding for public land management and boost the surrounding local economies."
The letter was initiated by Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker.
"Public support for protecting special places is strong, and many small communities increasingly depend on tourism and the growing outdoor recreation economy," said Ranker. "The effort to eliminate or shrink national monuments risks $45 billion generated nationwide by public lands, including national monuments.”