27 national monuments were ordered to be reviewed by the Trump Administration.
NewsAuthor: Steven Shaw
U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke is recommending that none of 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration be eradicated, but some changes will be made. At this point which monuments and how they will be changed is not clear.
Last April, President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing Secretary Zinke to review all national monuments, 100,000 acres or larger, created or expanded since 1996 by a previous presidents under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The Trump administration insists the review was needed to “restore trust in the multiple-use mission of the Department and to give rural communities a voice in federal land management decisions.”
In May, under the guise of transparency, and giving local residents and stakeholders a voice in the process, an open public comments period for the review was announced.
A summary published by the D.O.I. of the public comments received divided the comments into two groups. The first group was “overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining existing monuments.” The second group supported rescinding or modifying the existing monuments. Most often these were local residents associated with industries such as grazing, timber production, mining, hunting and fishing, and motorized recreation.
Key-Log Economics analyzed the more than 1.3 million comments submitted during roughly two month long public comment period.
They found 99.2% of comments oppose the proposed elimination or weakening monuments. A little perspective:
99.2% of 1,300,000 = 1,289,600 in favor of national monuments.
1,300,000 - 1,289,600 = 10,400 oppose national monuments
Math does not lie. Regardless, Department of Interior issued this statement in a press release:
“No President should use the authority under the Antiquities Act to restrict public access, prevent hunting and fishing, burden private land, or eliminate traditional land uses, unless such action is needed to protect the object.” said Secretary Zinke. “The recommendations I sent to the president on national monuments will maintain federal ownership of all federal land and protect the land under federal environmental regulations, and also provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands for hunting and fishing, economic development, traditional uses, and recreation.”
Conservation and environmental organizations have in solidarity condemned any recommendations for changes to the status of national monuments.
League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski told the Associated Press that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's review of the national monuments "has been a complete sham" and a pretext for "selling out our public lands and waters" to the oil industry and others.
The Wilderness Society is urging President Donald Trump to "ignore these illegal and dangerous recommendations and instead act to preserve these beloved places."
Sierra Club released this statement, “any recommendation from Secretary Zinke to shrink national monuments is hypocritical at best and ruinous at worst,” Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in a statement. “Secretary Zinke claims to support public lands, but now we know he’s just one more Trump administration stooge for polluting special interests.”
Again, it is unknown which monuments will be changed. We do know these are the monuments Zinke personally toured.
- Bears Ears (UT)
- Grand Staircase Escalante (UT)
- Katahdin Woods and Waters (ME)
- Northeast Canyons and Seamounts
- Cascade Siskiyou (OR & CA)
- Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (NM)
- Basin and Range (NV)
- Gold Butte (NV)
These monuments were removed from review prior to the August 24 deadline: