Update from July 5th 2017: Your input matters! Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was quoted Tuesday, June 27 as saying: “It is my likely recommendation to leave the Missouri breaks as is.” However, because this commitment only says he will “likely” make a ‘no change’ recommendation, it is still important to make your voice heard.
For more than 100 years, presidents of both parties have protected sensitive habitat and historic sites as national monuments. Now, a new presidential executive order (Executive Order 13792) has placed millions of acres of these iconic lands and waters at risk by threatening to eliminate or shrink 27 National Monuments targeted for review. This review includes the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (UMRBNM), which is the only monument in Montana under review. Specifically:
Your opinion matters! PLEASE take the time TODAY to send Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke comments to protect the Breaks!
WHAT WE ARE ASKING YOU TO DO:
Write Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke TODAY: Comments must be received by Monday, July 10, 2017. There are two easy ways to send your comments:
To: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240
Dear Interior Secretary Zinke,
I am writing regarding the review of national monuments under Executive Order 13792, and asking you to reject recommending any changes to these iconic public lands. In particular as a Montanan, I want to take this time to comment on the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (UMRBNM):
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important issue. In conclusion, I urge you to uphold the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt and maintain these monuments for current and future generations.
*Helpful Hint: Letters, whether print or email, are more effective if you alter the introductory sentence and/or personalize the letter in some way.
FOUR REASONS TO SUPPORT THE UPPER MISSOURI RIVER BREAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT:
The Missouri River Breaks National Monument was designated to protect “a spectacular array of biological, geological, and historical objects of interest.” The monument accomplishes this goal. Some of the biological and historical “objects of interest” are described below. Geologically, the monument showcases the river’s downcutting through a “layer-cake” of sandstone and shale, exposing some ten million years of geologic history. In addition, erosion has also exposed harder volcanic materials that filled cracks in the shales and sandstones.
The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument provides important
habitat for many wildlife species, including Species of Concern (SOC). The UMRBNM is rich in wildlife and wildlife habitat. The BLM has documented the following species counts within the monument: 60 mammal species, 233 bird species, and 20 species of amphibians and reptiles. Most of these species dependent in one way or another upon the riparian zone. Of these, 19 mammal species, 58 bird species, and 8 species of reptile and amphibian species are Species of Concern in the state of Montana. For a complete list of SOC species, click HERE.
The Missouri River Breaks National Monument protects important Montana historical sites. The monument provides protection to thousands of cultural and historic objects. Among these are the 149-mile Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (Lewis and Clark spent three weeks, from May 24 through June 13, 1805, exploring this river segment), and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. The confluence of the Judith and Missouri Rivers was the setting for two important peace councils: 1) in 1846, Catholic missionaries celebrated Mass for the Flathead and Blackfeet tribes to pacify relations between these traditional enemies; and 2) in 1855, the Washington Territorial Governor conducted a treaty council with the Blackfeet, Flathead, Gros Ventre and Nez Perce (this treaty established boundaries and provided for railroads, roads, telegraph lines and military post access across what is now northern Montana).
Establishment of the Missouri River Breaks National Monument had significant public input—and has public support today. President Clinton designated the UMRBNM after two years of public comment and meetings, including a large coalition of entities who worked to protect this area: local communities, the agriculture industry, recreation users, conservation groups, elected officials, and more. In addition, a 2017 poll conducted by Colorado College showed that three-quarters of Montanans support the monuments, as well as other existing monuments.
As part of our River Initiative, Montana Audubon works to protect our state’s rivers and streams.
For More Information:
Please send your comments so they are received by Monday, July 10, 2017!