American history: both natural and manmade
Several months ago, President Trump hailed the significance of Confederate monuments which dot the American landscape. Said he, “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart.” He was referring to the debate in some communities about the removal of these monuments from public grounds.
So it is ironic and alarming to see this same president green light the ripping up of public lands, many historically and culturally significant. Over the past several months Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have removed from federal protection many acres of land which should be protected.
For example, Bears Ears National Monument in Utah saw over a million acres removed from protective status exposing native American artifacts to vandalism and opening this area to desecration by profiters. This a pattern being repeated in Alaska, Oregon and Nevada. In short, our last remaining wild places are under attack.
Over a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt used his powers to preserve wild places. And today, we have the Grand Canyon and other places to marvel at and enjoy. What will be the legacy we leave to future generations as Americans? America is more than casinos, hotels and golf courses. Our mountains, rivers, deserts and wildlife all deserve protection. Unfortunately, this administration wants nothing to do with conservation.
Make no mistake about it, this administration plans to leave our national parks, wildlife refuges and forests in tatters. I shudder when I think what they may have cooked up for Shenandoah National Park.
Again, to quote the president, it’s “sad to see the history and culture of this great country being ripped apart.”
LAWRENCE GIESTING Culpeper