Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today released the following statement after President Trump signed an Executive Order to review the Antiquities Act and provide recommendations that could diminish national monuments created by previous presidents:
"This Executive Order initiates an unprecedented attack on existing National Monuments protected by the Antiquities Act, a law that has been used by both Republican and Democratic presidents for over a century," Bennet said. "The President's action is an affront to our communities and tribes that have spent years working to protect areas of cultural and historic significance. It is also an infringement on our rural communities, which rely on National Monuments and other public lands to support their outdoor recreation economy. We will continue to defend these designations in Colorado and the more than 150 additional National Monuments around the country."
Colorado's Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is included in the Order's list of monuments to evaluate.
Bennet has consistently supported protections for public lands, including national monuments in Colorado and around the country. Below are some of his recent statements and legislative efforts.
- Joined eight Western Democratic senators in a letter calling on President Trump to live up to promises made on the campaign trail to protect public lands for all Americans by upholding the existing protections for the 157 national monuments.
- Introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which protects and promotes access to America's parks, rivers, forests, and public lands.
- Introduced legislation with 39 other senators to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness to protect the land from future oil and gas development.
- Five Colorado-specific public lands bills that were introduced with Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) were recently passed out of Committee.
- Amid reports that the Trump Administration would consider abolishing or significantly reducing the size of Bears Ears National Monument, Bennet stood up for Bears Ears and called on the Administration to meet with tribal leadership before any decisions were made.
- Introduced the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act of 2017 to protect more than 172,000 acres in the Thompson Divide and adjacent areas from the possibility of future development, while providing compensation for Thompson Divide leaseholders.
- With Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, sent a letter to the Outdoor Retailer Show to highlight how Coloradans value public land and encourage them to consider Colorado as a new home for the popular recreation convention.