Interior Sec Zinke Wants Trump to Shrink 2 More National Monuments


"This is an example of a special interest", he told reporters.

Trump's Monday order to shrink both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by roughly 1 million acres each would be the largest retraction of publicly owned lands in USA history, which Patagonia also noted on its website.

President Trump signed a pair of proclamations Monday shrinking the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. Much of the additional land is on private property, while some is on land previously designated for timber production, Zinke said.

"We will be suing to defend Bears Ears shortly".

The legal challenge is the second aiming to stop Trump from cutting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in half.

Environmental and conservation groups and a coalition of tribes filed lawsuits Monday that ensure Trump's announcement is far from the final word in the yearslong battle over public lands in Utah and other Western states.

Interior Sec Zinke Wants Trump to Shrink 2 More National Monuments

"The president was absolutely right in asking for a review", Zinke said.

He says as a national monument, commercial logging is not permitted.

Former President Barack Obama created the 296,937-acre Gold Butte in 2016.

Unlike national parks that can only be created by an act of Congress, national monuments can be designated unilaterally by presidents under the century-old Antiquities Act, a law meant to protect sacred sites, artifacts and historical objects.

Zinke declined to specify how many acres he wants to remove from monument status, stressing that the administration is working with Nevada's governor and congressional delegation to find a solution.

"The implications of these recommendations for Maine's monument remain unclear, so we can not fully judge whether these recommendations are acceptable and consistent with the overwhelming view of ME people, problematic for the intended goal of this Monument, or illegal and likely to trigger action in the courts", she said in a statement. He also calls for a new assessment of border-safety risks at a monument in southern New Mexico.

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