Interior Recommends Trump on Shrinking Some National Monument Areas

Interior Recommends Trump on Shrinking Some National Monument Areas

Interior Recommends Trump on Shrinking Some National Monument Areas

Zinke declined to reveal details on his recommendations for individual sites in an interview with the The Associated Press. Various sources told this week they expected the report to significantly reduce the size of Bears Ears, possibly down to a meager 160,000 acres from the current 1.35 million. The Republican chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources says previous administrations have misconstrued the intent and objective of the Act, signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt, that gives presidents the authority to preserve and protect federal lands that possess significant natural, cultural, or scientific features. Seven tribes in Utah and the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Montana, which counts Zinke as an adopted member, have all passed resolutions this month calling for the monument's boundaries to remain in place.

"There is no doubt that it is drop-dead gorgeous country and that it merits some degree of protection, but designating a monument that - including state land - encompasses nearly 1.5 million-acres where multiple-use management is hindered or prohibited is not the best use of the land and is not in accordance with the intention of the Antiquities Act", Zinke said in June.

"A change can be a small tweak or near annihilation", Savitz told the AP.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order - Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act - on April 26, ordering Zinke to review all national monument designations to determine whether those lands have been "appropriately classified" under the Antiquities Act.

Zinke also attempted to shut down conservationists' fears that the monuments would be sold off to private interests. But Tawney said he's still waiting to hear what specific changes are being advocated by the Department of Interior and thinks the eight national monument sites visited by Zinke could be the ones affected.

It went on to state, "The responsibility of protecting America's public lands and unique antiquities should not be taken lightly; nor should the authority and the power granted to a President under the Act".

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"The American people have the right to see his entire report", she said Thursday. "We will continue to fight to protect these natural wonders and important ecosystems".

If the Carrizo Plain loses its monument status Helete believes it will trigger legal action to try and get the decision reversed in court.

"The vagueness of Secretary Zinke's report summary creates uncertainty for outdoor businesses and local communities", said Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association.

"Zinke, Trump and their friends in the dirty fuel industry plan to do with our public lands under the guise of this sham review".

In comments to the Associated Press, Zinke said he would recommend some be "downsized".

The summary report includes no details on which national monuments are being recommended for boundary revisions. It obligates federal agencies that manage the public lands to preserve for present and future generations the historic, scientific, commemorative, and cultural values of the archaeological and historic sites and structures on these lands. "That's a promise we've made to our children. That's a promise too". It is unclear whether Zinke is recommending altering the boundaries of some monuments and/or opening them up to industrial uses. I urge Sen. Jeff Flake to make a public statement reassuring his constituents that he will stand up to protect our public lands and bolster our economy for the longterm.

Zinke has since offered a reprieve to six of those monuments, announcing he would recommend those lands remain protected.

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