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SACRAMENTO June 9, 2017 – In response to the Trump administration’s executive order to review 27 national monuments across the country, California legislators today passed Assembly Joint Resolution 15, a bipartisan bill expressing support from the California Legislature for protecting national monuments in the state. Four Republican Assembly members and Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) voted in favor of AJR 15.
Diverse constituents from communities throughout the state convened a “Monuments for All” rally on the steps of the state Capitol to celebrate passage of the joint resolution as well as the 111th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, under which national monuments are designated.
“This bipartisan rebuke of Trump shows how much Californians love our national monuments,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Lawmakers confirmed their support for these public lands and warned the Trump administration to keep its grubby hands off these precious places.”
In California national monuments, parks, national forests and other protected public lands and outdoor spaces provide important opportunities for everyone to connect with our cultural and natural heritage. The national monuments under review in California are Giant Sequoia, Carrizo Plain, Cascade Siskiyou, San Gabriel Mountains, Berryessa Snow Mountain, Mojave Trails and Sand to Snow.
Signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Antiquities Act has been used by 16 out of 19 presidents — eight Republicans and eight Democrats — to protect America’s most iconic natural, cultural and historic places.
National Monuments: Beloved and Beneficial
The public overwhelmingly supports public lands and oceans. A 2014 Hart Research poll showed that 90 percent of voters supported presidential proposals to protect some public lands and waters as parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness. In the 2017 Conservation in the West poll, 80 percent supported keeping protections in place for existing monuments.
Many studies have shown that communities located near monuments and other protected public lands have stronger economies. Studies also show that the outdoor and recreational opportunities they provide increase local residents’ quality of life, making areas near monuments more attractive to new residents, entrepreneurs, small businesses and investors.
Outdoor recreation alone drives an $887 billion economy and supports 7.6 million jobs. A recent Headwaters Economics report reflects these trends with updated data from 17 areas across the West.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.