Letter for Sunday, July 9, 2017

• Speak up by Monday to help save national monuments

Speak up by Monday to help save national monuments

The U.S. Department of the Interior is currently reviewing the designations for 27 of our national monuments. This unprecedented action could lead to revoking a monument’s protected status or changing its borders, opening up our protected lands to drilling, mining and other harmful development.

Some of our country’s most beautiful and culturally significant places are protected as national monuments. Among these monuments is Papahanaumokuakea, which protects the largest contiguous conservation area in the United States, over 7,000 marine species, many of which are found only in Hawaii and/or are endangered or threatened, as well as numerous sacred sites.

It is vital that we act to protect not only Papahanaumokuakea, but also monuments across the nation. We have a duty to each other and future generations to protect these public lands and waters from destruction and degradation.

The Department of Interior is currently accepting public comments through Monday. Let them know how much you value Papahanaumokuakea and our national monuments by submitting a comment at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001.

Phoebe Sauter, Environment America, Washington, D.C.

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