Activists are ramping up efforts to raise awareness of the US president’s order, which puts 27 US wilderness areas at risk of losing their protected status
• US national monuments – in pictures
Imagine staring across the Utah wilderness at those famous towering mesas and buttes. Now imagine a great, hulking oil rig in the middle of it. It’s an apocalyptic vision of an American wilderness given over to the energy industry, and one that campaigners fear could become a reality.
A total of 27 wilderness areas in the US known as national monuments – which together account for more than 11 million acres of protected land in 11 mostly western states – are at risk of being reduced in size or losing their designation altogether following an unprecedented presidential order issued in April.