Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

U.S. Rep. McSally Urges Secretary of Interior to Consider the Importance of Arizona’s National Monuments

August 17, 2017
Press Release
Requests Secretary Consider State, Local, and Public Comment while Reviewing National Monuments as Directed by Executive Order

TUCSON – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today sent a letter strongly urging U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to take stakeholders’ input and public comments into account before making recommendations to rescind, reduce, or alter several of Arizona’s National Monuments.

“Arizona has more National Monuments than any other state. In addition to the pristine and unique geological formations, extensive forests and diverse wildlife found at these Monuments, these National Park units attract thousands of visitors annually providing economic activity and jobs in our state,” wrote Congresswoman McSally in the letter. “As you consider the remaining Arizona Monuments under review, I request that you place the highest level of care on state and local stakeholders’ input and the public comments you received before making your recommendations.”

On April 26, 2017 the President issued an Executive Order directing Secretary Zinke to conduct a thorough review of certain National Monuments designated under the Antiquities Act and make recommendations about their designations. The Executive Order required the Secretary to particularly focus on lands that were created after January 1, 1996 that are larger than 100,000 acres.

The Secretary began reviewing National lands in April 2017. On August 4, 2017 he issued his first recommendation on an Arizona National Park. Of the 27 National Monuments currently under his review, Ironwood Forest, Vermilion Cliffs, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona have not yet received a recommendation from Secretary Zinke.

To view a PDF of the letter, click HERE.

The full letter text follows.

 

August 17, 2017

The Honorable Ryan Zinke
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Secretary Zinke,

In response to the President’s April 26, 2017 Executive Order directing you to review National Monument designations, I request that you carefully consider the impact of your recommendations on Arizona.

Arizona has more National Monuments than any other state, and the President’s Executive Order which directs you to recommend rescissions, reductions, or alterations to National Monuments over 100,000 acres created since 1996, will have a particularly profound impact in Arizona and on my constituents. As you are aware, four National Monuments in Arizona—Ironwood Forest, Vermilion Cliffs, Grand Canyon-Parashant, and Sonoran Desert—were included in your initial review. In addition to the pristine and unique geological formations, extensive forests and diverse wildlife found at these Monuments, these National Park units attract thousands of visitors annually providing economic activity and jobs in our state.

You have recently made recommendations concerning several of the 27 National Monuments under review, including the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness. As you consider the remaining Arizona Monuments under review, I request that you place the highest level of care on state and local stakeholders’ input and the public comments you received before making your recommendations.

Sincerely,

Martha McSally
Member of Congress