Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument / BLM photo

Our Campaigns

Our Public Lands

Special places are important to Americans, regardless of politics. Environment America is working to keep them protected for future generations.
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, America is a beautiful country. Since Teddy Roosevelt, 15 presidents have protected some of our most special places as national monuments. We’re doing all we can to protect and preserve these places.
  • <h4>BEARS EARS (UTAH): SHRUNK</h4><h5>In December 2017, President Trump announced he was shrinking Bears Ears National Monument in Utah by 85 percent.</h5><em>Bob Wick / BLM</em>
  • <h4>KATAHDIN WOODS (MAINE): THREATENED</h4><h5>If the President adopts his Interior Secretary’s recommendations, more logging will scar the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.</h5><em>Russel Toris via flickr / CC-BY-2.0</em>
  • <h4>CASCADE-SISKIYOU (OREGON): THREATENED</h4><h5>Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument would see more logging and be reduced in size.</h5><em>Bob Wick / BLM</em>
  • <h4>ORGAN MOUNTAINS-DESERT PEAKS (N.M.): THREATENED</h4><h5>New Mexico's Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument could lose its national monument status entirely.</h5><em>Bob Wick / BLM</em>
  • <h4>ACTION & RESULTS</h4><h5>Over the past 30 years, our national network has been a leader in protecting America’s forests, parks and monuments.</h5>
A sense of beauty and utter freedom

In America, we live and travel among natural wonders. Seeing them provides us, in the words of author and historian Craig Shirley, with a “sense of beauty and utter freedom” that is “purely American.”  

Wallace Stegner called the decision to protect these places “the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best.” While Stegner was referring to national parks, that’s just one tool our country has used to protect and preserve the best of America.

Since 1906, when Teddy Roosevelt protected Devils Tower in Wyoming, 15 U.S. presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect and preserve special places of historical, cultural and scientific interest as national monuments.

Our public lands are rich with natural and historical treasures. Bears Ears National Monument, Utah.
Bob Wick / BLM
Restoring our treasured places

In December 2017, President Trump dramatically cut Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Cutting two million acres combined from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments opened areas that were previously protected to mining, drilling and development. 

#StandWithOurLands

How can we protect our lands?

RIGHT NOW: Environment America is calling on President Biden to restore protections to these special places.

IN THE MONTHS TO COME: We’re also closely monitoring legislation in Congress that would strengthen the Antiquities Act, the law that gives presidents the authority to designate national monuments for protection. 

IN THE LONG RUN: Ultimately, we need to win enough hearts and minds to our point of view so daring to weaken protections for America’s public lands would be a career-ending move for any elected official. That’s one more reason why our work to raise awareness and engage people in action matters.

Staff deliver more than 2 million petitions urging the Dept. of the Interior to protect public lands.
Jenny Nordstrom
A decades-long commitment

We believe the enduring beauty, history and culture of these places are worth far more than the short-term value of any timber, minerals or oil we can extract from them.

Our national network has won much of the support necessary to establish such new national monuments as Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico. We have a long track record of protecting other public lands, from President Bill Clinton’s declaration of nearly 60 million acres of national forest off-limits to logging and road-building to President Barack Obama’s moratorium on new mining on a million acres around the Grand Canyon.

Protecting our national monuments and other public lands will require us to act where and when it matters most. We have staff in many of the states where national monuments are being targeted for reduction, and members in all of them.

Our success also depends on gaining support that transcends the partisan divide. Fortunately, this is a cause that can unite hunters and hikers, anglers and birdwatchers, native tribes and businesses that cater to tourists.