This past August, OIA sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to preserve previously designated national monuments and the legacy of the Antiquities Act. More than 350 outdoor company executives signed the letter.
We are following up with a letter to President Trump, asking him to continue to protect these monuments and our public lands and waters for all American’s to enjoy. If you are a CEO, President or company executive, please add your business to the letter, telling President Trump that America’s public lands and waters are good for jobs, the economy and an important part of our American heritage. The full text of the letter is below the form.
Dear President Trump,
Our nation’s land and water are part of our shared heritage and are hallmarks of who we are as Americans. As you contemplate your administration’s policies related to these places, the hundreds of executives and business leaders below call upon your administration to protect and defend the vast landscapes that comprise our public lands network. Shielding our national monuments and other public lands from diminished protection will result in stronger rural and urban communities, thriving local economies, and a healthier nation.
For more than a century, Republican and Democratic presidents alike have used the 1906 Antiquities Act to set aside iconic landscapes, waterways, wildlife sanctuaries, and places of monumental beauty to ensure they remain uncorrupted and accessible for the enjoyment of hunters and hikers, bikers and boaters, anglers, campers and ranchers, for wildlife, and for all Americans. Undoing protections for these places is not only contrary to the conservation ethic established by President Theodore Roosevelt and honored by his successors, but will devastate local communities and their economies that rely on these lands.
Protected public lands and waters are the very infrastructure that support a booming American economy. More than 90 percent of Americans believe that public lands provide net benefits for the economy and are positive economic drivers, and they are right. The outdoor sector, for example, supports 7.6 million good paying, American jobs, contributes $887 billion annually to the economy and generates $125 billion in state, local and federal taxes. Public lands are also an important economic asset that extends beyond tourism and recreation. Counties with more protected federal lands have stronger employment, personal income, and per capita income growth. Businesses rely on access to public lands for employee recruitment and retention, adding millions more in additional jobs and economic activity. These local economies represent the American dream and give the United States a unique competitive advantage.
For the millions of Americans and the millions more who visit our country from around the world every year, exploring our public lands and waters provide an opportunity for a uniquely American experience. It has been said that the establishment and protection of America’s land and water is among our nation’s best ideas. We agree. These places were entrusted to us and it is our shared responsibility to remain responsible stewards of them.
As leaders of more than XXX American companies, we ask you to embrace the conservation ethic of your predecessors and keep current protections in place for our public lands and waters, ensuring these places live on for the benefit of every American today and for generations to come.