OIA Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order for a Review of Existing National Monument Designations under the Antiquities Act

April 25, 2017

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and the outdoor industry business community are concerned about and closely watching President Trump’s Executive Order calling for a review of National Monument designations under the Antiquities Act.

According to a briefing by Secretary Zinke on April 25, President Trump’s Executive Order requests the following:

  • A review of approximately 30 National Monuments designated from January 1, 1996 through the end of 2016 that are over 100,000 acres in size
  • An interim report that will be concluded within 45 days and a final report within 120 days of the order
  • Specifically, the review will begin with Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument designated in 1996 and end with Bears Ears National Monument designated in late 2016

According to the briefing, tomorrow’s Executive Order will not do the following:

  • Strip any monument of a designation
  • Loosen any environmental regulation on land or marine areas
  • Strip any National Monuments of any protections

The outdoor recreation economy generates over $887 billion in consumer spending and supports 7.6 million American jobs. The outdoor industry believes our public lands are special places attracting millions of people and generating billions of dollars in economic activity. Every year, Americans and international visitors account for more than 330 million visits to fish, camp, hike and otherwise recreate in our National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites and other public lands.  The U.S. Department of the Interior just last week reported that visits to our National Parks added $35 billion to the U.S. economy.

“We are concerned about the narrative that the designation of national monuments has led to a loss of jobs and wages in surrounding communities,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of Outdoor Industry Association. “We believe the facts demonstrate the opposite story. Monuments, many of which have become National Parks, have created economic prosperity and jobs in local communities for decades. The vast majority of Americans value their National Parks and Monuments and want these lands protected. Negatively impacting National Monuments will be extremely unpopular with the American people and will take away economic opportunity from communities that need it the most.”

America’s public lands are a seminal thread that set the fabric of our nation apart from the rest of the world. While our national parks like Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone and others are the crown jewels of our public lands system, we cannot underestimate the historical role monuments, wildlife refuges and other public lands have played in creating National Parks like Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, Arches in Utah and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

In a statement on the company’s Co-Op Journal blog, REI’s CEO Jerry Stritzke said: “Thanks to the work of 16 presidents over more than 100 years from both parties, today our national public lands are for all Americans. A review this broad-ranging is unprecedented and that is obviously cause for concern… The order itself does not rescind existing National Monuments but it does leave that open as an option, along with reducing or resizing them. That is a threat to the integrity of our public lands, which millions of Americans see as national treasures… REI is engaging directly with our elected officials from both parties. We’re working across the outdoor industry to ensure that our collective passion for public lands and their economic and societal value is clear. Our 16 million members can be assured that we believe – as Teddy Roosevelt said – our public lands should be left stronger and healthier for future generations… That is a significant responsibility for the Secretary of Interior and his department to live up to, and so REI will help provide all the evidence and support needed to prove just how much the outdoor community loves these iconic places and the way of life they make possible.Read the full statement here. 

OIA member company The North Face released the following statement: In our country’s infancy, our leaders had the brilliance and foresight to protect our nation’s epic natural lands, not for business, but to feed our souls and create life-long conservationists. Most notably among these was Teddy Roosevelt and his powerful vision to enact the 1906 American Antiquities Act. Consider for a moment a world without the sacred rocks and stone temples of our heritage, or without the great ranges and life-supporting waters, open to all and owned by all, who wish to connect with the natural world. We fundamentally believe our National Monuments, Parks and public lands are vital shared spaces and any attempt to change them threatens our heritage, destroying part of the very core of who we have become as a nation. It also erodes the livelihood of 7.6 million people who are employed in outdoor recreation. We stand with the outdoor industry, our customers and the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose any legislation that would reduce or devalue our National Monuments, Parks and public lands. Protecting and preserving access to these places is core to our mission to enable all people to explore outdoors. #NeverStopExploring

Rose Marcario of Patagonia released this statementOur National Monuments were established after extensive public input because they provide unique and irreplaceable cultural, ecological, economic and recreational value worth protecting for our children and our grandchildren. As stewards of America’s federal public lands, the Trump administration has an obligation to protect these most special wild places. Unfortunately, it seems clear they intend to do the opposite. Read the full statement here. 

Outdoor Industry Association will continue to educate our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. and those across the country, about the benefits of the outdoor recreation economy and its symbiotic relationship with public lands. Our hope is that no one seeks to rollback or dilute over 100 years of history and protection for our nation’s public lands through the Antiquities Act. As The Outdoor Recreation Economy report shows, when we work together, America can thrive outside.

As OIA receives additional information about this Executive Order and Secretary Zinke’s review process, we will keep our members advised on how to provide public input.