Ahead of Zinke Report, Grijalva Brings in Veterans’ Affairs, Small Business Committees for Thursday Public Lands Protection Forum

Washington, D.C. – Just days ahead of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s June 10 report to President Trump, expected to recommend weakening protections for Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is hosting a forum this Thursday with leaders from the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and House Small Business Committee on preventing the damage Trump’s public lands policies would do to multiple, diverse American communities.

The forum, titled A Monumental Mistake: The Implications of President Trump’s Executive Order on National Monuments, will examine the recreational, preservation and economic benefits of national monument designations under the Antiquities Act. Speakers will highlight how Zinke’s ongoing “review” of more than two dozen national monuments, which 86 House Democrats opposed in a May 25 letter to Zinke, threatens to reduce public access to public lands and harm local economies.

Zinke must deliver a more comprehensive report to Trump in August on his recommendations for more than two dozen other national monuments, including Upper Missouri River Breaks in his home state of Montana. Despite Republican rhetoric to the contrary, Trump has no power to rescind or shrink national monuments through executive action, as multiple legal analyses – including a 1938 attorney general findinga paper by the firm Arnold & Porter and a recently published expert analysis of relevant legal and legislative history – have found.

The forum is open to the public and members of the press. Those unable to attend can watch a livestream at http://dems.gov/live.


What: A forum examining the recreational, preservation and economic benefits of national monument designations under the Antiquities Act

When: Thursday, June 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Where: 340 Cannon House Office Building or tune in for the livestream at http://dems.gov/live

Members of Congress:

  • Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Ranking Member, House Committee on Natural Resources 
  • Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez,  Ranking Member, House Committee on Small Business
  • Rep. Tim Walz, Ranking Member, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Speaker Panel:

  • Hugo Tureck, Rancher, President of the Friends of the Missouri Breaks and Former Chairman of the Bureau of Land Management’s Central Montana Resource Advisory Council
  • Megan Duffy, Store Manager, Patagonia Washington
  • Carrie Hamblen, CEO and President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce
  • Robert Vessels, Iraq and Afghanistan war US Army veteran and Director of the Sierra Club’s Military Outdoors Initiative
  • Robert Garcia, Founding Director-Counsel of the City Project

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile