National monuments

My family moved from the New York City suburbs to Aspen when I was in the eighth grade. That September the entire class went on a weeklong hiking and camping trip. I had never camped before. I had never forged a raging river. I had never seen the setting sun's reflection in a crystal clear mountain lake. That week changed my life.

I guess they didn't have a trip like that where Donald Trump went to school. Or maybe he couldn't go because of his bone spurs. I imagine the wildest place he has ever been is in the rough on one of his golf courses.

The 27 national monuments under review represent 21 percent of the 157 total. Since the Antiquities Act was passed 16 presidents have designated at least one national monument. Trump may be the first president to have a negative number of monument designations.

The purpose of the act was to safeguard federal lands and preserve cultural and historic sites. Americans love these places. Mount Rushmore, Muir Woods, Bryce Canyon and the Statue of Liberty are part of our American DNA.

From Trump we hear "Tremendously positive things are going to happen on that incredible land." Oil and gas exploration never sounded so sexy. I wonder how future generations will feel as they pay the clean up costs for this shortsighted policy.

It is up to us to fight for these majestic, beautiful and important places.