Donald Trump’s next executive order could be monumental—and not in a good way. In the spirit of patriotic occupiers of wildlife habitat who don’t believe any place is so beautiful, historic, or ecologically significant that it couldn’t be improved by a Walmart and/or a strip mine, Trump wants to do in a few national monuments. And this time he’s not just stopping with rolling back Barack Obama.
President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order on Wednesday ordering a review of national monument designations going back 21 years, according to multiple media reports.
That’s every monument named under Obama, every monument named under George W. Bush, and several named by Bill Clinton. That’s the islets of the California coast, the groves of Giant Sequoia, and over 6,000 archaeological sites at Canyon of the Ancients. It’s both the monument to the battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbor and the internment camp for Japanese Americans at Tule Lake. It’s monuments that include the deepest point in the ocean, the trails of ancient reptiles, and scenes of perfect beauty. The monument to Harriet Tubman is in there. So is the home of “buffalo soldier” Charles Young, the first African American to reach the rank of colonel in the US Army.
There were 55 national monuments created in the decades that Donald Trump wants to “review,” and together they represent treasures of history and the majesty of nature. Now they all hang on the word of a man whose idea of ‘”outdoors” is a golf course.
Conservation groups have condemned the impending executive order as an attack on U.S. public lands.
It’s not an attack on public lands. It’s an attack on the public.