Grijalva: Trump’s Paranoid Decision to Withdraw National Park, Other World-Class Sites From U.N. Reserve List Puts America Last

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw 17 U.S. sites, including Virgin Islands National Park, from the United Nations World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) protected list.

The changes occurred at a recent meeting in Paris of the U.N. International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme. As National Geographic first reported, “Prior to this year, a total of 18 sites had been removed from the program since 1997, by seven countries” – putting the U.S. request just short of equaling the total number of removals in the past 20 years.

At the recent meeting, Bulgaria requested that three of its sites be removed from the list – the only other country to request any removals. Other nations collectively added a total of 23 sites to the list at the meeting.

“President Trump keeps putting America last on the world stage,” Grijalva said today. “Our goal should be to lead international conservation efforts, not run from them. Some House Republicans have tried to sell the same bizarre story for years that participating in U.N. programs means soldiers in blue helmets will take over U.S. property. They found a believer in the White House.”

The full list of sites recently removed from the program is below.

  • Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge – US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed – US Forest Service
  • California Coast Ranges – University of California Natural Reserve System
  • Carolinian South-Atlantic – Non-Game and Heritage Trust (South Carolina)
  • Central Plains Experimental Range – USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • Coram Experimental Forest – US Forest Service
  • Desert Experimental Range – US Forest Service
  • Fraser Experimental Forest – US Forest Service
  • H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest – US Forest Service / Oregon State University
  • Hubbard Brook – US Forest Service
  • Konza Prairie Research Natural Area – Kansas State University
  • Land Between the Lakes – US Forest Service
  • Niwot Ridge Mountain Research Station – University of Colorado
  • Noatak National Preserve – National Park Service
  • Stanislas-Tuolumne Experimental Forest – US Forest Service
  • Three Sisters Wilderness – US Forest Service
  • Virgin Islands – National Park Service

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile