KGLP recorded a Conference Call for August 18, 2017 air, that included New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Utah business owner, a New Mexico hunter and taxidermist, a Nevada artist and Las Vegas Paiute Tribe member, a Utah military veteran and Navajo leader, and an Arizona conservationist about the personal and local impacts that would be felt if Trump takes action to undo or undermine protections for national monuments. A public lands legal expert also took questions.
More than 2.7 million people have submitted comments in support of America’s national monuments, including local residents whose way of life and livelihood depend on these protected public lands. Following an Executive Order from President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is required to deliver a final report by August 24 detailing the future of more than two dozen national monuments, from Maine to California.
Participants in the Press Conference Call included:
· Hector H. Balderas, New Mexico Attorney General – Attorney General Balderas is a strong advocate of Río Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monuments. He has contacted Sec. Zinke about the legal aspects of the monuments and to underscore the overwhelming support for the two national monuments, and their cultural, recreational and economic benefits to NM.
· Fawn Douglas, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe - A former tribal councilwoman and native artist, Douglas has traveled to DC numerous times to lobby for the initial protections for Gold Butte National Monument (NV), a land sacred to local tribes.
· Joe Sheehey, Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society and bighorn sheep hunter, Tucson, AZ - Due to national monument status and Sheehey’s efforts, the Bighorn Sheep population is flourishing enough for hunting, and transplanting once-threatened sheep to other parts of their historic range.
· Blake Spaulding, co-owner of Hell’s Backbone Grill at Boulder Mountain Lodge, Boulder, UT - Neighboring Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is vital to the local economy and her thriving restaurant business. Without it, her 50-employee business might not survive.
· Fernando Clemente, wildlife biologist, local taxidermist, and avid sportsman, Las Cruces, NM - As President of the Board of the Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, Clemente advocates for the vital role large connected lands play in protecting habitat for wildlife. He recently met with Secretary Zinke in Las Cruces. **NOTE:Clemente is available for Spanish-language interviews.
· Davis Filfred, Navajo Nation Council Delegate, Aneth, UT – A staunch supporter of Bears Ears National Monument, Filfred is a U.S. Marine Corp veteran who served in the Persian Gulf War, and a former Navajo Tribal Police officer.