When President Trump issued a directive for his Secretary of the Interior to “review” some 27 national monuments across the American West, a significant part of that process was the public comment reviews. Literally millions of people wrote in their comments to support their love of national monuments, none more fervently than New Mexicans. No, really, more New Mexicans wrote comments per capita than any other single state. The Land of Enchantment really stepped up to the plate to defend our protected public lands. Today, Sec.
By this point, the news that Rep. Steve Pearce (NM02) has done something bad when it comes to America’s public lands is hardly earth shattering. So, imagine our surprise when it became known over the holiday weekend that Pearce joined with 17 radical tea-party Republicans calling on Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for the complete (nearly) undoing of national monuments all across the western United States. via GIPHY
Members of the so-called Western Caucus have for years been trying to dismantle land designations that protect important cultural and environmental resources within the 11 western states that compose the majority of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Led by stalwart Industry supporters like Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, the Western Caucus has pushed back against national monuments, wilderness, and supported extreme radicals like Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his ilk.
But what is a little surprising is this: Even this group of nearly 70 representatives has never gone so far as to call for the complete dismantling of protected public lands with such detail oriented calculation. Under their plan, the following monuments would be reduced or completely removed:
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in testimony yesterday that he would come to New Mexico and see first-hand areas within at least one of the state’s two National Monuments his department is reviewing. I thank @MartinHeinrich for the invitation to see #NewMexico on horseback. Looking forward to it. — Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) June 20, 2017
The DOI is reviewing the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and Rio Grande del Norte National Monument because of spurious claims that President Obama overreached his authority when designating both areas under the Antiquities Act. Read more to see why we know New Mexicans want our monuments to be left as is.
ProgressNow New Mexico EF (501c3) has released a video ad featuring City of Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima that calls on Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-2) to step up for his constituents and represent their interests in Congress and supporting renewable energy policies.
New Mexico’s public lands are in danger. The Trump administration seems to believe these culturally rich pieces of land are commodities rather than treasures. Senator Martin Heinrich strongly disagrees.