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Farm to Feet

Public Lands are 100% American

Public Lands are 100% American

President and Conservationist Theodore Roosevelt once said “…short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things.” Fortunately for our nation, he had the foresight to understand the importance of wilderness conservation and protecting endangered areas by signing the Antiquities Act of 1906.  In doing so, he created a pathway for future Presidents to designate National Monuments from federal public lands to protect significant natural, cultural, or scientific features.

The Act has been used more than a hundred times since its passage.  Over the last century, many national monuments have become National Parks by congressional action such as the Grand Canyon and Acadia National Parks.

Unfortunately, Presidential use of the Antiquities Act has not been without controversy.  With the election of President Trump, the ongoing debate about its use was magnified with his executive order to Secretary of the Interior - Ryan Zinke - instructing him to review all National Monument designations over 100,000 acres during the previous 20 years.  This was in direct response to the state of Utah's congressional delegation request to rescind President Obama's designation of Bears Ears National Monument.  This past August, Secretary Zinke issued his recommendations to the President.  

As a proponent of public lands, we are concerned about the recommendations in this report, which have been recently leaked to the public.   

As this Outside magazine article states, there are several misleading statements and assumptions that were made in these recommendations.  Perhaps the biggest argument made for this review was that National Monument designations hurt local economies.  Yet as the author states, that claim just "does not hold water."  In fact, "Western counties with at least 100,000 acres of protected public lands have an average per capita income that’s $4,360 higher than counties without. Communities with protected public lands also have faster job growth and higher wages than those without."

Our friend, John Sterling - Executive Director of the Conservation Alliance - wrote the following post on the Alliance's website in response to the recommendations.  As John states:

"Changes to these ten monuments would not only undermine our national conservation legacy, but impact local communities that rely on these protected places to drive tourism and outdoor recreation." 

The reality is that The Outdoor Industry significantly contributes to the national economy in the amount of $887 billion and 7.6 million jobs as well as significant tax revenue at the federal, state, & local level.  You can learn more about the economic impact of outdoor recreation at the national and state level by clicking here.  

In order to help defend this assault to our public lands and in honor of National Public Lands Day, we are selling a limited edition hiking sock named after the Bears Ears National Monument.  100% of the net proceeds will be donated to the Conservation Alliance's Public Land Defense Fund.

To purchase your Bears Ears socks click here.