America's Monuments: Worth the Fight

These monuments are among our most cherished national treasures. They are in urgent need of our protection.

Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Tim Peterson

Bears Ears in Utah. Giant Sequoia in California. Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England in the Atlantic Ocean. Papahānaumokuākea in Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean. These are among our most cherished national treasures. Each monument is a testament to America’s shared history, common values, and natural and cultural heritage.

Yet these monuments are now in the crosshairs of the Trump administration, which intends to shrink or eliminate them altogether, and open some to oil and gas drilling, uranium and coal mining, and other commercial extraction. President Trump does not have the legal authority to do this, but he and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke have launched a sham review of the monuments, intended to pave the way for their exploitation by extractive industries, including fossil fuels.

This report highlights what's at stake and why each of these precious monuments deserves the protection conferred since 1996 by previous presidents. As the administration reviews monuments across the nation, two at the very center of its bull’s-eye are Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the North Atlantic. These—and all our national monuments—are in urgent need of our protection.

Explore this interactive map to discover America’s monuments and the value they bring to the country.