Yesterday, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended to maintain the existing protections and status of Sand to Snow National Monument, which is one of the seven national monuments in California included in the Department of Interior's larger review of 27 national monuments. The review began in response to an executive order from President Trump in April and by the end of the public commenting period in July more than 2.8 million comments in support of national monuments were submitted.
"Our Latino communities care about these places and want to make sure that ALL of our national monuments stay protected," said Isaac Jacobo, youth advocate from Fontana de la Esperanza Seventh-Day Adventist Church. “Latinos and our churches throughout the region have been working together to make sure our voice – our support for our national monuments – is heard.”
Latinos have been part of the democratic process of permanently protecting millions of acres of public. For example, the Latino community were active participants in the efforts to establish the Sand to Snow, Mojave Trails and San Gabriel Mountains National Monuments in California. Overall, national monument designations have received broad support. The 2017 Colorado College conservation poll showed that 80 percent of voters back keeping national monuments in place, while only 13 percent support revoking them.
"Like all of our national monuments, Sand to Snow National Monument is a place of extraordinary natural, cultural, and historical wonder,” said Maite Arce, President and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “We have a moral obligation to be good stewards, to protect these special places and to preserve them as a legacy for future generations – not just for one monument, but all of them.”