Lt. Governor Newsom calls for protection of National Monuments

8-23-17

SACRAMENTO - In a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom urged the federal government to uphold existing National Monument designations, highlighting the economic, recreational and historic importance of these protected lands. Secretary Zinke is expected to present recommendations on alterations to national monument designations to the Trump Administration this week.

"These protections are essential to preserving the environmental and cultural resources of our nation's dwindling natural spaces for future generations," Lt. Governor Newsom wrote on August 22, 2017. "The wild, scenic heritage of the United States' frontiers connects our citizens to our nation's past, provides a spiritual grounding in the present, and inspires bold visions for the future."

Five National Monuments in California are at risk of weakened protections: the Berryessa Snow Mountains, Carrizo Plain, Giant Sequoia, Mojave Trails, and San Gabriel Mountain are all currently under review pursuant to the President's Executive Order 13792 issued in April 2017.

The review inspired a groundswell of public participation and garnered over two million comments - voices that Lt. Governor Newsom encouraged the Secretary to consider when determining the fate of the monuments in California and across the nation.

Lt. Governor Newsom's letter to Secretary Zinke can be reviewed at: http://ltg.ca.gov/documents/zinkenmletter.pdf

Under the Antiquities Act of 1906, the President may designate land as a National Monument to preserve important natural and cultural resources on behalf of the public. Existing monuments have been designated by presidents of both parties, protecting important habitat for threatened species, preserving historic sites, and providing unparalleled recreational opportunities.

Recent monuments established in California include the San Gabriel Mountains, which provide 70% of the open space available to urbanized Los Angeles region, and the Carrizo Plain, which received thousands of visitors during this year's iconic wildflower super bloom.

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