Non-profit groups supporting four Arizona national monuments are lobbying federal lawmakers after an executive order issued last week by President Donald Trump.
"I'm afraid of some of the reasoning that going on about public land protection," Thom Hulen, who founded a group that advocates for the Sonoran Desert National Monument, told ABC15.
"Transferring it to states -- removing the national monument designations -- I just don't think there's good reasons for that."
Trump's executive order calls on the Department of Interior to review 24 national monument designations since 1996, each spanning at least 100,000 acres. After issuing the order he pledged to "end another egregious abuse of federal power and to give that power back to the states and back to the people, where it belongs."
The four Arizona sites under review are:
- Sonoran Desert National Monument
- Grand Canyon - Parashant National Monument
- Ironwood Forest National Monument
- Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Hulen says supporter and advocacy groups with those sites have been writing letters and organizing phone campaigns with lawmakers ever since the executive order was known.
"The United States' public land is pretty culturally important to most Americans," he says.
On Tuesday, a separate House subcommittee began a hearing to evaluate the need for certain monument designations.