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Four national monuments in Arizona are under threat from the Trump administration: Grand Canyon-Parashant, Vermillion Cliffs, Ironwood Forest, and Sonoran Desert national monuments.  These remote landscapes preserve diverse environmental resources and cultural heritage. They also provide incredible outdoor recreation opportunities, benefiting the local economies surrounding the monuments.

The Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument was designated by President Clinton in 2000 and protects more than one million acres of remote and isolated lands on the north edge of the Grand Canyon. The monument includes for wilderness areas and is home to countless biological, historical and archaeological treasures.

Also designated in 2000, the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is located near the Arizona and Utah border. It contains plateaus, cliffs, buttes, and canyons at elevations ranging from 3,100 to 7,100 feet. It boasts some of the most spectacular trails and vistas in the world, forcing visitors to plan months in advance in order to secure passes to hike certain trails. Learn more from Hugo Garcia, a regular visitor to the region, and Charles Neumann, a small business owner in a nearby town.

Members of LCV’s Chispa Arizona team recently visited the Sonoran Desert National Monument southwest of Phoenix, which was designated in 2001. It is the most biological diverse desert in North America, home to saguaro cacti and several endangered species. Check out Chispa Arizona’s Facebook live video from the national monument.

The Ironwood Forest National Monument near Tucson, Arizona was designated in 2000.  The monument features rich strands of ironwood trees as well as mountains and desert valleys. It also includes as many as 3,000 archaeological and historical sites dating back hundreds of years.

Many members of Congress in Arizona are fighting to keep existing protections for these national monuments in place. Congressman Raul M. Grijalva serves as the top Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources and is a vocal opponent of the misguided review. He recently called out members of Congress who want to give away public lands and waters to private mining and logging companies.  Congressman Tom O’Halleran has urged Secretary Zinke to listen to the local communities who support protecting our public lands and waters for all.

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