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Ed Moss

What we're doing about it (section title)

What we're doing about it

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Grand Staircase-Escalante

In the courts

We are part of a coalition that sued President Trump over his proclamations lopping off big parts of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Photo: Ed Moss

Salt Lake City capitol

Sparking action

We give people the information they need to call their senators, write their representatives, and submit meaningful comments. Sign up for our action alerts ›

NM Defense - Restore monuments (petition)

Show your support for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

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Legal Update

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Immediately following President Trump’s slashing of Bears Ears, the member tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition sued the government. The Grand Canyon Trust and our partners also quickly filed lawsuits on both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante reductions.

NM - long legal road ahead

NM - long legal road ahead

The long legal road ahead

We believe Trump’s actions were contrary to the law, but it will probably be years before the courts conclusively rule on that question. In the meantime, we’re building our case, preparing our arguments, and doing everything we can to protect the interests of national-monument-loving Americans like you. Stay tuned.

NM - legal update

NM - legal update

National monuments lawsuits two years later

Two years after President Trump dismantled Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, where do our lawsuits stand? Read the latest ›

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Threats to monument lands stripped of protection

When President Trump carved out swaths of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears, he rolled back hard-won protections and opened the doors for extractive industries to move in. Here’s what’s at risk.

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Drilling and mining

Uranium, copper, and cobalt mining claims have already popped up on the former monument lands. Read more ›


Increased vehicle use

Trump’s proclamations give the secretary of the interior the authority to re-open roads previously closed to vehicles.



Shriveled boundaries mean less funding and fewer resources to monitor and protect archaeological sites from looting and vandalism.

Ed Moss

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Why Care

National monuments are yours to play in, pray in, and share in. They protect some of our country’s most amazing landscapes and cultural resources, and should be protected for the benefit of all, not exploited for the profit of few.

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The backstory

NM defense - monument review

NM defense - monument review
Tim Peterson

An opaque review

In April 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 27 national monuments. Millions of comments flooded the Department of the Interior in response — an overwhelming 99 percent in favor of keeping our monuments as they are. Despite public opinion, President Trump followed through on Zinke's recommendations to slash Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, issuing new proclamations for the monuments. Read more ›

Marc Toso

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What's in a name?

National parks, national monuments, national forests, national preserves — confused?

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There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to national monument designations — who designates them, how do they vary from national parks, what protections do monument designations afford, and what restrictions do they impose?

Here’s a basic breakdown of the key differences between national parks and national monuments:

NM - parks vs. monuments

National Parks
  • Generally large, natural places, protected for their scenic, inspirational, educational, and recreational values
  • Designated only by Congress
  • Managed by the National Park Service
  • Mining and drilling are generally not allowed
National Monuments
  • Protect landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic, cultural, or scientific interest 
  • Usually designated by presidential proclamation
  • Managed by a variety of agencies
  • Accommodate land uses such as livestock grazing, fishing, hunting, recreation, and more.

NM - 100+ years of national monuments

100+ years of national monuments

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law. This law makes the destruction of archaeological sites on federal lands and the removal of artifacts from them punishable offenses. It also gives sitting presidents the authority to protect objects of historic or scientific interest by declaring them national monuments. National monuments are composed solely of federal lands. Monument designations do not take lands away from states or private individuals.

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NM - stats

Nonpartisan support

In the 100+ years of the Antiquities Act, nearly every president — Republican and Democrat — has used the Antiquities Act to create more than 125 national monuments protecting cliff dwellings, volcanoes, fossils, coral reefs, and more. In fact, six of the eight national parks on the Colorado Plateau started as national monuments, including the famed Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Arches, and Petrified Forest, before Congress granted them park status.

NM - unfounded

NM - unfounded
Ed Moss

The unraveling of monuments is unfounded

The Antiquities Act gives presidents the authority to designate national monuments, not un-do them. We’re taking Trump to court to make sure his illegal actions don’t set a precedent that could unravel our country’s national monument legacy.

National Monuments Blog


From the Grand Canyon to Bears Ears, we're committed to conserving and restoring millions of acres on the Colorado Plateau.

Read More

It's time for President Biden to act on Secretary Haaland's recommendations and restore Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Read More

Tribal elders and leaders share tips about how to visit cultural landscapes like Bears Ears respectfully.

Read More
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