Outside Magazine Editors:
Immediately after he took office, on January 20, 2017, [U.S. President] and his officials began opening up public lands to the energy industry. Ever since, it’s been hard to keep track of all the regulation rollbacks and revoked protections.
First, there was the announcement on January 30, 2017, to reorganize government agencies, including the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior. Two weeks later, [U.S. President] repealed a rule that stopped mining companies from dumping waste into rivers. Then Ryan Zinke was confirmed as secretary of the interior, and from there the deregulation pace quickened. Zinke oversaw reviewing national monuments, streamlining oil and gas industry permits, opening Arctic waters to drilling, and, finally, shrinking two monuments in Utah.
The promise of the national parks was to save and protect special places so all Americans may experience their heritage. The current administration is eroding this away.
J. Weston Phippen, writing in Outside Magazine:
As of 9 a.m. on Friday, the protections for what was once Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments ceased to exist, and all the surrounding public lands opened to resource extraction.
Sixty days ago, President Trump signed an order in Salt Lake City to reduce the size of the two monuments—Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand Staircase by half. Today, they officially open to mining claims. There’s been a lot of fuss in the media about how these claims work, because they’re governed by the General Mining Law of 1872. That means anyone with motivation and four stakes can, technically, rush out and claim their own plot, as long as you have the $212 filing fee. But there probably won’t be an 1800s-style land rush.
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins donated 1 million acres of private land as part of a 10 million acre addition to Chile’s national park system. This will add five new parks and expand three more and safeguard Patagonia’s wilderness, provide a boon to economic development in southern Chile, and continue to welcome Chileans and international tourists alike.
This conservation effort has been in the making for more than 25 years.
Jonathan Franklin, The Guardian
Chile has created five sprawling national parks to preserve vast tracts of Patagonia – the culmination of more than two decades of land acquisition by the US philanthropists Doug Tompkins and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and the largest donation of private land to government in South America.
The five parks, spanning 10.3m acres, were signed into law on Monday by Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet, launching a new 17-park route that stretches down the southern spine of Chile to Cape Horn.
McDivitt Tompkins, the former chief executive of the outdoors company Patagonia, handed over 1m acres to help create the new parks. The Chilean government provided the rest in federally controlled land.
On her recent five-month residency with the Native land’s advocacy group Utah Diné Bikéyah, filmmaker Alisha Anderson shot a series of films about tribal connections to the Bears Ears National Monument. This video features Diné’s spiritual advisor, Jonah Yellowman, speaking about how he connects to nature.