In signing an executive order to re-examine national monument designations to determine if the Antiquities Act was used appropriately, President Donald Trump has further shaken the confidence of millions of Americans.
Here in Nevada, among supporters of two of our newest monuments, Gold Butte and Basin & Range, there had been a relief that these natural, historical and cultural treasures were finally protected. Native Americans in particular have a strong connection to this land.
So do environmentalists and recreational users such as hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, ATV enthusiasts and campers, who all use and enjoy this spectacular landscape.
As a resident of Moapa Valley since 1999, I live near Gold Butte and spend a lot of time there. I have seen firsthand that many diverse groups — such as the LDS church youth who recreate the journey of their pioneer ancestors through the region — choose the area to connect with nature and reconnect with their history. Such activities allow us to appreciate the natural beauty as well as the historical significance of our newest national monument.
It is vital that these places be preserved to ensure that future generations have the same opportunity. The Antiquities Act does exactly that.