When President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act of 1906, he did so out of reverence for our public lands. Though a wealthy Republican from a privileged background, he worried about corporate land-grabbers ruining our treasured wild places. He wanted to protect our imperiled forests, mountains, rivers and streams.
Roosevelt said, “The rights of the public to the [nation’s] natural resources outweigh private rights and must be given its first consideration. Our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever.”
Yet today, another Republican president is flaunting his power by mocking 100 years of bipartisan tradition. His recent executive order, demanding a review of as many as 30 national monuments, could rob us and future generations of our rightful legacy. This president is willing to scar our protected lands, and those of Native American Tribes, with commercial exploitation: mining, drilling, hunting, logging. The wildlife refuges so carefully established by Roosevelt and the National Audubon Society could be decimated.
I am calling on Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, and Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador to be statesmen; to stand up for our country’s heritage.
Sirs, make Idaho proud to call you our representatives.
Kristiana Rutty, Boise