Earlier this week, The Washington Post obtained a copy of the 19-page document that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke submitted as his recommendations on the review of 27 national monuments. At the request of President Donald Trump, Zinke took four months to review the 27 national monuments that had been created or expanded from 1996 to present that were greater than 100,000 acres or made without adequate public comment.
But that report had not been made public, and Zinke and the White House have been tight-lipped on details since Zinke submitted it in August, merely saying he recommended shrinking a few national monuments. Now, that 19-page document lives on the Internet thanks to The Washington Post and the details show Zinke recommends shrinking, changing management or modifying 10 national monuments.
The New York Times took it one step further and put together a list of those 10 monuments and the recommendations made by Zinke. In that list it details the six he states should have their boundaries revised: Bears Ears, Gold Butte, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Cascade-Siskiyou, Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll.
The other four national monuments he recommends changes to are along the lines of modifying their management plans. They are: Katahdin Woods and Waters, Organ Mountains-Desert, Rio Grande del Norte Peaks and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts.
In some instances, the changes to management plans recommended include allowing activities like timber management, commercial fishing and traditional use (which The NY Times states “could include activities like drilling and mining”).
Altering public land use or its size will likely be met with legal action from environmental groups, as the likes of the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society quickly stated.
That said, it is unknown what President Trump will do with the Secretary’s recommendations.
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