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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

McCollum Statement on President Trump’s Attack on National Monuments

December 4, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Ranking Member of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee and Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, released the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to divide and dramatically shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments:

“President Donald Trump has put Native American sacred sites and some of our nation’s most iconic places in the crosshairs of corporations who want to drill and mine on America’s public lands. Once again, President Trump is putting extractive industries before the best interests of the American people.

“I am particularly outraged by the elimination of the Bears Ears National Monument. This monument was established with the support of the Zuni, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Navajo, and Hopi tribal nations, who petitioned our government to protect more than 100,000 cultural artifacts, sacred sites, and traditional tribal practices by creating this Monument. It is simply unconscionable to open these places that mean so much to our Native American brothers and sisters to oil drilling and uranium mining.

“The preservation of places like Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante is the reason the Antiquities Act was established by Congress. President Trump’s decision to strip protections from more than two million acres of public lands is not just wrong — it is almost certainly illegal. I strongly support efforts to challenge President Trump’s abuse of power in court. Americans must keep working to safeguard our public lands and save America’s treasures.”