Washington D.C.—Today, President Obama designated the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Birmingham, Alabama, the Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, Alabama and the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort County, South Carolina and has expanded the California Coastal National Monument and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The League of Conservation Voters’ President Gene Karpinski released the following statement:
“We are thrilled that President Obama is permanently protecting these three sites to commemorate a critical part of our nation’s history from the era of reconstruction to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. There is wide-spread local support for these monuments, which will boost the local economy while preserving key parts of our history.
With the addition of the three historical monuments and the expansion of the California Coastal National Monument and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, President Obama has cemented his public lands legacy. He is a true champion of conservation, permanently protecting more land and water than any president in our history.
However, the Republican leadership in Congress is attempting to undermine all the progress we’ve made safeguarding our lands, water and cultural sites by attacking the law used to protect these places. The Antiquities Act has been used by presidents of both parties to first protect half of our national parks and tell the story of all people in this country for future generations.
LCV will be there every step of the way to defend this critical law that works with local stakeholders to safeguard our most cherished places and boost local economies.”
Conservation Alabama Executive Director Tammy Herrington released this statement:
“These are great additions to Alabama’s historic sites, and another example of how our public lands preserve some of our state’s most precious places. The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and Freedom Riders National Monument represent an important point in our nation’s history, and it is clear from the bipartisan support of our state’s entire House delegation that protecting these landmarks is vital. We thank President Obama, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and the local leaders in both cities for their hard work making these national monuments a reality.”
Conservation Voters of South Carolina Executive Director John Tynan released this statement:
“Designation of the Reconstruction Era National Monument, the first National Monument in the nation to focus on Reconstruction-era sites, is great news for South Carolina. The sites that are included in the monument tell stories from a critical moment in our state’s and nation’s history – stories that will now be shared for generations to come. We thank local leaders and stakeholders, Congressmen Clyburn and Sanford, and President Obama for their leadership in preserving these parts of our nation’s history.”
California League of Conservation Voters CEO Sarah Rose released this statement:
“The expansion of the California Coastal National Monument is great news for our state. Our coast belongs to all Californians and preserving its scenic beauty and biodiversity is crucial for California’s climate and economic future. We thank President Obama for his conservation leadership, and all the local stakeholders and elected officials who made this expansion possible. With the new presidential administration about to take office, it is crucial we act to make certain our magnificent landscapes and wildlife continue to belong to all of us now, and for generations to come.”
Oregon League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Doug Moore released this statement:
“Oregonians understand the importance of our public lands, and we’re excited to see the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expanded. Our public lands are an essential part of our economy, environment and livelihood that must be protected for future generations to enjoy. We thank President Obama, Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden, and Governor Brown along with our local stakeholders who made this expansion possible.”