Weird Nature

26 National Monuments Trump Has On The Chopping Block  

Hugh Landman
2.1k votes 226 voters 4.8k views 26 items

List Rules Vote up the monuments you would most write your senator about.

The United States of America is a vast land of natural splendor and beauty. But some of its natural wonders stand in the way of mineral and oil deposits, potential toxic waste sites, or natural gas fracking fields. But luckily for those who want to destroy nature in the name of profit, President Donald Trump is trying to change that. One of Trump's many executive orders has enacted a review of certain national monuments and could possibly revoke their status. All in the name of "freedom."

What are national monuments, and why are they "oppressive"? National monuments are land sites set aside by the federal government. This process began after the Antiquities Act of 1906 - an effort to protect Native American ruins and artifacts. Since then it has helped preserve natural wonders and land from mineral exploitation. Some of these places are part of the National Parks Service, and include some of the most well-known sites in the country, including the Grand Canyon.

Environmental activists, Native American leaders, and outdoor industry groups have criticized the proposal since it risks native lands, furthers environmental degradation, and undermines the sometimes decades-long work that led to the monuments being created. Proponents of it say that mining, recreation, oil and gas exploration, tree cutting, and farming opportunities are stymied by the designations and that states should control whether and how they are protected. The collection of national monuments Trump wants to get rid of span the US and could cause major negative impacts if they're taken away.

Want to see these monuments saved? Contact your US Senator or contact the Department of the Interior

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Mojave Trails National Monument
Mojave Trails National Monumen... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 26 National Monuments Trump Has On The Chopping Block
Photo:  US Bureau of Land Management /Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Mojave Trails in California includes vast stretches of the Mojave Desert, stretches of Route 66, and ancient ruins. Scientists studying climate change and geology also have sites on the reserved land. The trails themselves span 1.6 million acres, and include sand, mountain ranges, snow, and ancient lava flows.

Is this worth protecting?
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Pacific Remote Islands In The US Territories Of The Pacific
Pacific Remote Islands Marine ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 26 National Monuments Trump Has On The Chopping Block
Photo:  US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia/Public Domain

The Pacific Remote Islands are seven protected wildlife spaces that dot US territories in the Pacific Ocean near the equator. President Barack Obama designated the 130,000 square mile area a national monument in 2014, prohibiting dumping, commercial fishing, and oil and gas exploration on the site. The area is home to reefs and complex marine ecosystems that are threatened by commercial interests.

Is this worth protecting?
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The Vermilion Cliffs In Arizona
Vermilion Cliffs National Monu... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 26 National Monuments Trump Has On The Chopping Block
Photo:  Lobineau/Wikimedia Commons/CC by SA 2.5

The Vermilion Cliffs have some of the most stunning natural rock formations in the United States. The Arizona site also features archeological discoveries and canyons. This hidden gem is sometimes overlooked because it sits between two other popular national parks - Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon. 

Is this worth protecting?
Grand Staircase-Escalante Nati... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 26 National Monuments Trump Has On The Chopping Block
Photo:  John Fowler/Wikimedia Commons/CC by SA 2.0

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a 1.9 million acre protected area in Utah. It includes slot canyons, other worldly rock formations, paleontological, archeological, and offers an array of outdoor activities. The Grand Staircase is a series of sedimentary rock layers that stretches across Southern Utah to the Grand Canyon. Geologically, the rock layers contain millions of years worth of evidence that tells the story of the formation of the earth as it exists today. 

In June 2018, a Canadian mining firm said they were set to excavate land previously part of this monument. The firm, Glacier Lake Resources Inc., acquired the Colt Mesa deposit, a 200-acre piece of land roughly 35 miles southeast of Boulder, UT. In a press release, the company said, the land "recently became open for staking and exploration after a 21-year period moratorium."

Is this worth protecting?
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