Notice and comment is an underused process for everyday Americans to weigh in on important actions by the executive branch. Check out the list of monuments, pick one that’s meaningful to you, and submit a comment using the comment form. Then share your comment on social media and tag @mycivicworkout. To get you started, here’s a sample comment from a friend of MCW.
I encourage you to protect these Monuments so that all Americans can continue to enjoy them in the years and generations to come. Each Monument has a story. Each is a special space belonging to all Americans and with meaning to Americans around the country. I’d like to share some of what the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument specifically means to me and to my family. It is a place that we have returned to many times over the years, enjoying its beauty and taking spiritual solace from our sense of connection to the land and natural world there. My dad first encountered the Escalante 40 years ago (around the time he met my mother – but that’s another story for another time). We returned 20 years ago, when I was a young child, and I still have vivid memories of the beauty of those wild spaces. 5 years ago I spent a summer working on a small farm in Boulder, cherishing the opportunity to be outside in such a beautiful and peaceful place. The protections Escalante-Grand Staircase has as a National Monument are vital to preserving that peace and beauty. They help support a thriving local tourism economy, with the Boulder Mountain Lodge and Hell’s Backbone Grill (where I worked that summer I spent there) depending on visitors like my family who are drawn to the spectacular landscapes. But most importantly, they help preserve those landscapes for all Americans, now and for generations to come. I hope to bring my children to see Calf Creek Falls and Sugarloaf and all the other beautiful places of the Escalante. The National Monument status means I can count on them still being there for us.
Jonathan Thompson wrote for High Country News last October about the Native American activists who fought to protect the land that is now Bears Ears National Monument.
More than 700 archaeologists, 25 tribal governments and the National Congress of American Indians, along with several local and national environmental and faith-based groups, have endorsed the proposal. “It’s a big healing process for Native Americans,” Maryboy told me last October in Bluff, as morning light illuminated Twin Rocks –– a symbol of the Navajo monster-slaying brothers. “The colonization has been ugly. Protection of this land begins a healing process.” Here in San Juan County, though, the healing has yet to begin. Instead, this fight has torn open old scars, and inflicted a few of its own.
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