In April 2017, President Trump directed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review National Monuments created since January 1, 1996. Designated under the Antiquities Act by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, President Trump's executive order states the reason for reviewing the 27 monuments is "in recognition of the importance of the Nation’s wealth of natural resources to American workers and the American economy..."
While Trump has claimed the review is designed to identify potential abuses of the Antiquities Act in designating these 27 monuments, critics have pointed out that Zinke has mostly been meeting with fossil fuel executives since the review began. While much of the attention has been paid to Bear Ears in Utah, many of the monuments under review involve popular waterways frequented by paddlers.
American Whitewater has created an extensive list of the waterways under threat.
AW also offers an online portal to submit comments to the Dept. of Interior regarding the monuments review. The comment period closes July 10 for paddlers wishing to make a case about the recreational, historical, and ecological benefits that National Monuments provide to the American public.
There’s many National Monuments threatened, some of which house high quality paddling. Here’s a quick look at eight of our favorite unique paddling opportunities in the monuments under review:
Grand Staircase-Escalante N.M., Utah
Cache Creek Wilderness run, Berryessa Snow Mountain N.M., California
Rio Grande del Norte N.M, New Mexico
Klamath River, Cascade-Siskiyou N.M., California
East Branch Penobscot River, Kathadin Woods & Waters N.M., Maine
Upper Missouri River Breaks N.M, Montana
Columbia River, Hanford Reach N.M., Washington
Please remember these are only eight of the 27 monuments under review. Visit American Whitewater for more information, including a helpful comment portal. July 10 is the final day to submit comments.
RELATED: 10 Favorite Paddling Routes in the U.S. National Parks.