by Mosie Welch
National Monuments at risk and the comment period for the Newly minted Bears Ears is only 15 days beginning with May 12, 2017. Below are links with outlining each monument, Where to comment online and via mail. The Department of the Interior Notice of Open Period for Comments is an unprecedented attack on numerous monuments that is deauthorized will open the door to commercial and corporate plundering of significant cultural, historical, and natural resources. ALERT: Notice Bears ears has a 15 day comment period. DO NOT DELAY you comments. All others monuments have a 60 day comment period.
DOI Press Release, Monuments Under Review: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-department-releases-list-monuments-under-review-announces-first-ever-formal
From the DOI Press Release: Comments may be submitted online after May 12 at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the Search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.
DATES: The Department will shortly publish a notice in the Federal Register officially opening the public comment period. Written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted within 15 days of publication of that notice. Written comments relating to all other designations subject to Executive Order 13792 must be submitted within 60 days of that date.
An overview of information related to monument review: http://www.grindtv.com/nature/public-comment-period-for-review-of-national-monuments-starts-may-12/#VoUqfDdQptMe2Jpt.97
Department of the Interior Review of Certain National Monuments Established Since 1996; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment – link to the comment docket: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=DOI-2017-0002
What do I say in my comment:
When officials review public comment, they are required to consider a broad range of impacts – environmental, cultural, historic use, emotional ties, and the greater good to name a few. Your comments ARE PUBLIC and may be used in any law suit brought against the United States to prevent the deauthorization of the monuments. Each comment is read and cataloged. I urge you to consider the monuments of concern to you and make comment on why you feel they should remain protected public lands. Consider why these lands belong to American people and impact there will be if they are deauthorized. What will we lose? What about the monument is unique and provides the American people with a tie to the past, preserves a unique environment or habitat, or a range of cultural/historical resources and ties to a community or past. Do not be afraid to share a unique perspective.
A brief and local example of what can stop a government program. When Cuyahoga Valley National Park first wanted to manage the deer population with a reduction by sharpshooters they held a public comment period on the reduction plan and alternatives for reduction. When determining the plan they did not consider a mitigation or education plan for the emotional impact reduction would have on citizens in the area that were against the reduction. The park was taken to court and the lack of consideration of emotional impact was used to stop the reduction of the deer population. It was 15 years before the park decided to revisit the reduction of the deer herd by sharp shooting.