AAC Statement on Antiquities Act Review

American Alpine Club Statement on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act

September 18, 2017: Last spring, President Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act since 1996 that span at least 100,000 acres or were designated “without adequate public outreach.” Zinke’s final report was not made publicly available, but The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy yesterday.

The American Alpine Club is concerned by Zinke’s recommendation to modify 10 national monuments, including reducing Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Nevada’s Gold Butte, and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou.

Any modifications will impact the future of critical climbing resources on our public lands and the Antiquities Act—the law signed by President Theodore Roosevelt to protect the important archaeological, historic and scientific assets that face imminent threat.

Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the American Alpine Club and was considered one of the most powerful voices in the history of American conservation. As climbers, we know that “there is a delight in the hardy life of the open” and that “our nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value,” as Roosevelt said more than 100 years ago.

The American Alpine Club is fiercely committed to our country’s national monuments—their wild landscapes and cultural and scientific resources. Together with our partners at Access Fund and Outdoor Alliance, we were actively involved in public discussions about the creation of Bears Ears National Monument and made our position known to then Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack. As AAC Board Member Peter Metcalf says, “We best ensure our continued privilege to climb, in part, by educating others about the integral role our public lands play in the vibrancy of our economy, our cultural history, bio-diversity, and the quality of our lives.”

The American Alpine Club, with its partners, will continue its commitment to safeguard our vertical playgrounds and ensure that historic conservation tools are preserved and protected.  

How you can help:

Tweet at our President and Interior Secretary and tell them to protect our National Monuments. Feel free to use the following: Hey @realDonaldTrump and @SecretaryZinke, don't shrink our #nationalmonuments!  #keepitpublic #MonumentsForAll @americanalpine