Ten national monuments are in danger according to a leaked U.S. Interior Department document. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendations to the Trump Administration include shrinking four national monuments and opening up six others to commercial industry, like mining, drilling and logging. To do this would be not only harmful to these natural treasures and environmentally irresponsible, but it also defies public opinion. Ninety-eight percent of the 2.8 million public comments received by the Interior Department on national monuments supported maintaining or expanding the protections to the monuments under review.
As skiers and snowboarders we benefit immensely from America’s public lands. Much of the land we ski on - both back- and front-country - is publicly owned and administered. Our public lands help keep our mountain air fresh, and preserve some of the country’s most iconic alpine views. Our national monuments represent some of our country’s most cherished landscapes, enjoyed by millions of Americans for camping and hiking, skiing and mountain biking and more. Last May, while celebrating Colorado Public Lands Day, we spoke to hundreds of skiers and snowboarders who support America's national monuments and want to see their protections maintained and expanded, not squandered in the name of shortsighted plans.
It is both unwise and unpopular to revoke any of the protections to these lands. The Trump administration has already backed off cuts to other national monuments following massive public outcry. We need to save these monuments as well. Snowriders International will continue to work with our network of partners across the country to educate the public and mobilize support for these national monuments and all of our public lands.