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I need everyone that loves off-roading like my son Jason did to copy this letter and mail it ASAP. We must stop the arbitrary taking of land by the Federal Government without input from those affected. It doesn’t matter if you 4-wheel your truck or buggy, your ATV or UTV or you motocross or Enduro Race; land is ours and it is being taken right now. Please get involved before it is too late. Thank you

The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar:

I'm writing to express my opposition to designating vast tracts of public lands as National Monuments. Specifically, as a member and participant in national motorized recreation organizations, I'm concerned about the recently leaked DOI memo that indicates that 13 million acres of public lands in 11 states are being considered for such designation.

These potential monument designations would not only limit legal access and opportunities for many responsible recreationists, but would also have a negative impact on local economies, many that rely on the tourism dollars generated by motorized opportunities on surrounding public lands. Hardest hit would be rural economies that, in many cases, are dependant on the revenue that motorcyclists, all-terrain vehicle riders, snowmobilers and four-wheel drive enthusiasts bring to these towns. Despite the numerous effects National Monument designations would have, our primary concern is they can be made without any formal input from those who would be the most impacted.

I understand the Antiquities Act provides the authority to the President to designate public lands as National Monuments without input from Congress, States, impacted communities and citizens, or other stakeholders. However, it is clear that the original intent of the law was for the designations to consist of specific "landmarks," "structures," "objects," and "parcels of land as parts thereof," and for them to be as small as practicable. We hold that the original bill drafters did not envision 13 million acres in 11 states being designated as National Monuments with a stroke of the pen, but rather that this authority would be acted on with discretion.
Other Administrations have, in our opinion, abused this authority to designate large tracts of public lands as National Monuments and we urge you to stop this practice. To that end, I appreciate your public statements indicating your desire to follow a collaborative process for creating new designations and conservation initiatives. I agree that these "work best when they build on local efforts to better manage places that are important to nearby communities." I stand ready to participate in this collaborative process.

It may be that some of the lands discussed in the memo warrant special designation of some sort; however, National Monument designations are not appropriate for areas encompassing thousands and even millions of acres. Any special designation that is considered should include a thorough process that allows for local input and stakeholder involvement. It is also important to note that each of the public lands listed in the memo, as well as others that may be considered in the future, is already managed and protected by the relevant land management agency. There is no need to rush to unilateral decisions that will negatively impact rural economies and restrict recreation opportunities.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
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