National Treasure I

State legislators oppose Trump executive order

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A bipartisan group of 325 state legislators from 44 states sent a letter to President Trump this week, raising strong concerns with an unprecedented action to review public lands under an executive order signed late last month. The diverse group of legislators urge the president not to rescind or shrink the lands currently designated as national monuments under the Antiquities Act.

“This action puts our heritage at risk here in Washington and across the country. While a select list of national monuments, including Hanford Reach and San Juan Islands in Washington state, could be under immediate review, the order is a first step that puts all public lands at risk,” said Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) who drafted the letter. “The president’s action serves the needs of some special interest groups while ignoring the needs of millions who enjoy our nation’s most special places and the jobs that depend on them.”

The 1906 Antiquities Act has allowed the designations of national monuments by nearly every previous president beginning with President Theodore Roosevelt, and include such areas and places as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Chaco Canyon, Olympic National Park, Muir Woods, and the Statue of Liberty. President Barack Obama in particular used the act with precision to protect areas of natural and archaeological values, scientific and educational interest—including lands in the San Juan Islands. These represent a small fraction of the 640 million acres of federal lands.

“National monuments hold an important place in our history and culture in the United States. No president has attempted to revoke a national monument before,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. “We urge the president to work with Congress and state legislators to increase funding for public land management and boost the surrounding local economies.”

In their letter, lawmakers cited the significant economic benefits of protected federal lands, including outdoor recreation and tourism.

“The third assessment of the nation’s Outdoor Recreation Economy, just released by the Outdoor Industry Association, concludes that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending, is responsible for 7.6 million American jobs, and provides $125 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues,” Ranker noted in his letter. “For a sense of the magnitude of these benefits, the jobs dependent on outdoor recreation pursuits exceed those in computer technology, in construction, and in the finance and insurance industry. The study also estimates that public lands, including national monuments, national parks, and national wildlife refuges, account for $45 billion in economic output and about 396,000 jobs nationwide.

“Public support for protecting special places is strong, and many small communities increasingly depend on tourism and the growing outdoor recreation economy,” Ranker said.

Smoking Crow
More News...
Ending Bell
Session ends with environmental progress

The bell sounded, and the Washington State Legislature adjourned this week.

Lawmakers made progress on key bills for environmental protection, but fell short of the hopes of a suddenly unified caucus long stalled on their agenda. Yet even with Democratic majorities in both chambers of the…

more »
Oil and Orcas
Coalition of state legislators oppose offshore oil drilling

Elected officials in Washington state say they’ll fight the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

At a rally in Olympia Monday, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson warned the state would sue the administration if it moves forward.

Commissioner of…

more »
Cherry Point
Council begins work to reduce fossil fuel impacts

What can Whatcom County Council do to limit the export of unrefined fossil fuels? Not much; a little, and it needs to be well-documented and coordinated.

That was the message from Rodney Brown, an environmental attorney for Cascadia Law Group, as he presented a consultant’s report on…

more »
Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

The Book of Moron

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Adventures and Brawls

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Squalicum Creek Park

Native Plant Sale & Expo

9:00am|Whatcom Community College

Walk for Water

10:00am|Fairhaven Village Green

Rock & Gem Club Show

10:00am|Bloedel Donovan Community Center

March for Our Lives

10:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Whatcom County Democrats Convention

10:00am|Bellingham High School

Starting Your Vegetable Garden

10:00am|Blaine Library

Tax Help Available

12:30pm| First Congregational Church


1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Spring Show Opening Reception

2:00pm|River Gallery

Native Plants & Birds

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

A Conversation with Alan Friedlob

3:00pm|Deming Library

The Passage Home to Meuse

4:00pm|Lynden Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm| Fairhaven Library

Shantala and Friends

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Memory's Blade

7:00pm|Village Books

Ballroom Dance

7:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Trove Web
Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Rock & Gem Club Show

10:00am|Bloedel Donovan Community Center

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Local Bird and Plant Walk

2:00pm|Chuckanut Center

An Afternoon with Jack Gunter

2:00pm| Maple Hall

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The Story of Big Ole

3:00pm|Everson Library

Art of Jazz

4:00pm|The Majestic


4:00pm|Village Books

Take Me to Church

8:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

Cabaret A Chorus Line
Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Bellingham at Home Informational Meeting

1:00pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Monday Night Pizza

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Choosing a Diet for Optimal Health

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Open Mic Night

7:00pm|Village Books


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

see our complete calendar »

Cabaret A Chorus Line Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web Best Of Skagit Village Books