Sierra Club members and supporters have had plenty to celebrate this
week. When President Obama used his pen to designate five diverse sites
across the country as national monuments, we applauded him and we welcomed the
economic and recreational benefits, as well as the cultural preservation, that
these sites will bring.
We’ll continue to celebrate the revenue that new national monuments will bring to local economies, the cultural and historical landmarks they will protect, and the opportunities for travel and exploration they will provide for bird watchers, kayakers, climbers, and other adventurers. But designating national monuments will have a much longer lasting effect -- one that goes beyond a fleeting adventure down a river or trip to visit to a historic site -- it will help reverse the disruption of our climate.
By expanding our nation’s fleet of national monuments to include more large landscapes, the president is making great strides in establishing his lasting climate legacy. America's public lands are increasingly under threat from oil and gas drilling, coal mining, and the effects of a changing climate. The same dirty fuels being extracted from our public lands are exacerbating climate disruption at a pace that is too fast for our landscape and wildlife to adapt.