10-year-old lobbies Congress in fight for National Parks

A 10-year-old Hawaiian boy is on a quest to protect our National Monuments, and he flew to Washington DC this week to meet with members of  Congress and a member of the Trump Administration.

Robbie Bond created a non-profit called “Kids Speak for Parks.” The petition on the group’s website calls for the Trump administration to keep “Hands off our parks and monuments.”

In late August, the Department of Interior recommended altering the boundaries of several National Monuments. Including the popular Bears Ears National Monunment in Utah.

Monday, Bond went to the Department of Interior headquarters and met with Deputy Secretary Tim Williams, who is the Deputy Director for the office of External affairs.

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10-year-old National Parks Monuments
Robbie Bond outside of the Dept. of Interior. Credit: Kids Speak for Parks

“It went really good apart from the fact that he didn’t really answer our questions,” Bond told Hawaii News Now.

Later in the week, Bond spent time with several members of the Hawaii congressional delegation. Bond posted his interview with Congresswoman Coleen Hanabusa on the Kids Speak for Parks Facebook page.

In the interview, the Congresswoman says she doesn’t like the idea of downsizing National Monuments, but she’s also concerned about the “Integrity of the Antiquities Act.”

The Antiquities Act, established in 1906, gives Presidents the authority to create National Monuments. It takes an act of Congress to declare lands a National Park.

The Antiquities Act has been used more than a hundred times since its creation. President Theodore Roosevelt used it to create the Grand Canyon National Monument – the first step in protecting what is now Grand Canyon National Park.

“When the Trump administration issued an executive order threatening to harm 27 of our national monuments, I knew I couldn’t just tour our national parks. I needed to speak up,” states Bond’s petition.

​”We must build an army of fourth graders and their families to stand up and speak for the parks. Our government needs to hear, from the youngest amongst us, that our national parks and monuments are not for sale.”

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