Protection in name

 

A recent feature lauds the powers of the president to protect lands by declaring them national monuments (“Monument Man,” HCN, 5/25/15). Meanwhile, in a companion article discussing grazing and oil drilling, the author finds “little has changed on the ground” since Canyon of the Ancients National Monument received its designation. A second sidebar describes a similar situation at Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument: “The BLM’s management plan made so few changes that it even garnered the support of a local group of ranchers who had opposed the monument designation.” If this is the case, one must ask: Has anything been protected at all? Or are these new designations national monuments in name only?

Brian Gatlin
Grand Canyon, Arizona