The time is now. Our lives are too short. It’s Friday and I just made a call to rent a canoe for the next three days. We are taking the kids up to float the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. We’ve never been there before and my only experience in a canoe was during childhood, but we have a sudden sense of urgency. The Breaks is one of the monuments “under review” and it has an uncertain future. There is no time to lose.
President Trump has ordered the Department of the Interior to review the designations of 27 national monuments, including Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks.
Montanan, and self-described ‘Teddy Roosevelt Conservationist” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is now undertaking this review, making the monumental decision as to whether these lands should continue to be protected, be eliminated, or even be opened to development. The only way to defend these national monuments is to convince Zinke they are worth protecting.
And he needs to hear from you.
For The Breaks, we have until July 10th to make our voices heard, but two of the most iconic national monuments in the desert southwest — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante — the comment period will close on May 26th.
As a mother trying to raise children with plenty of time outside in wild places, some of our favorite experiences were in national monuments. Uncrowded, low cost, but still having facilities and educational resources, national monuments are some of our favorite places for a family adventure. I want my children to climb the sandstone in Bears Ears, try and wrap their arms around the Giant Sequoias, and play hide-and-seek in the slot canyons of the Grand Staircase. If this canoe thing works out, someday I want to explore the Katahdin Woods by boat. What happens if the protections are taken away?
This is an “all in” moment in american history.
To all you mothers, let’s protect these lands as we protect our young ones. This website http://www.monumentsforall.org makes it easy to add your comments and tell YOUR national monument story.
Time to pack the car and head to The Breaks.