Rep. Carbajal Calls On Sec. Zinke To End Review of Carrizo Plain National Monument

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Washington, August 14, 2017 | comments

After Review Halted for Five National Monuments, Carbajal Requests Exemption on Central Coast

Santa Margarita, CA
– Today, Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24) wrote to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, urging the Trump Administration to end review of the Carrizo Plain National Monument amid broad support for the Monument and public opposition to modification of its designation.

Secretary Zinke recently announced that of the 27 national monuments originally under designation review, Craters of the Moon, Hanford Reach, Canyons of the Ancients, Grand Canyon-Parashant, and the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monuments are now exempt from review and no changes will be made to their designation. This announcement leaves 22 National Monuments, including the Carrizo Plain, under threat. Revocation or modification of the Carrizo Plain’s National Monument status puts it at risk of private development and potentially open to oil and gas mining.

“The tremendous outpouring of support to preserve our Carrizo Plain Monument should tell this Administration that Central Coast residents overwhelmingly want these public lands protected for future generations,” said Rep. Carbajal. “This Executive Order poses a direct threat to the preservation of this unique habitat and economic engine for tourism on the Central Coast. The Carrizo Plain’s boundaries were extensively studied previous to its designation and Secretary Zinke should exempt it from review.”

The Carrizo Plain was designated as a National Monument in 2001, after eight years of community discussion. In addition to being integral to the local tourist economy, the monument is home to multiple endangered plant and animal species and has previously received bipartisan support in Congress. Last month, Congressman Carbajal joined hundreds of community advocates gathered in San Luis Obispo to oppose changes to its designation. Over 2.3 million Americans have written Secretary Zinke to oppose the review of our national monuments.

The full text of Rep. Carbajal’s letter is here and below:

August 14, 2017

The Honorable Ryan Zinke

U.S. Department of the Interior

1849 C Street N.W.

Washington, DC 20240

Subject: Carrizo Plain National Monument Review

Dear Secretary Zinke:

I write to you today to request that you recommend that no changes be made to the Carrizo Plain National Monument (CPNM) located in the Central Coast of California’s 24th Congressional District, which I represent.

Following your Department’s recent announcements that Craters of the Moon, Hanford Reach and Canyons of the Ancients National Monuments would all remain intact as a result of your review, my constituents are increasingly concerned that the CPNM, a unique vestige of the Central Valley’s grassland, remains open to possible changes and vulnerable to potential oil and gas development.

Recent figures show the outdoor recreation economy in California is worth approximately $92 billion, employs over 691,000 individuals, and contributes $30.4 billion in wages and salaries. The world class resources of the CPNM represent a key part of this economy.

Local communities and business owners who depend on these monuments for their livelihood deserve certainty that these monuments will not be altered.

As you may know, the designation of CPNM in 2001 was the culmination of an intensive public process. The monument is not only economically important to my district and state, but is broadly popular, and has garnered bipartisan support.

Due to the unparalleled resources that CPNM protects, the benefits it provides to local communities and the support that exists in our state, I ask that you end this review. This review is creating unnecessary concerns among my constituents, as the Carrizo has been an economic boon in San Luis Obispo County and for its residents.

I respectfully urge you to leave these designations as they stand. Our national monuments are national treasures and we should continue to protect these public resources.

Sincerely,

SALUD O. CARBAJAL

Member of Congress

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