National Monuments are lands that are protected from development by presidents through the Antiquities Act. This Act is the foundation of American conservation legacy.
Mr. Trump is not the first president to shrink our national lands. President Wilson reduced Mt. Olympus and FDR reduced the Grand Canyon monument at the request of ranchers. However, this act will put Mr. Trump in the record books for giving away the most public land.
As upsetting as this must be for many Americans, myself included, I know that there are many groups who will fight this in court, claiming that only Congress can legally shrink a monument. And there is still time for the public to voice concerns. If Mr. Trump's action is not prevented this will change the landscape of our country forever.
With all of this in the news this week I thought I'd try to turn a positive look at our public lands and the scientists who work in them by highlighting Mary Kay Carson's book, PARK SCIENTISTS: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America's Own Backyard. This title is part of the well-known Scientists in the Field series published by Houghton Mifflin (my publisher). This well-researched title introduces readers to Yellowstone's grizzly bears, cacti and Gila monsters in Arizona, and fireflies in Tennessee.