Zinke suggests changes at two NM monuments

Posted September 19, 2017

None of these recommendations have been finalized, and the leaked memorandum written by Zinke said at several points, "Draft Deliberative - Not for Distribution". Zinke is not recommending elimination of any of the 27, but has proposed shrinking several - most notably Utah's Bears Ears National Monument - and opening others to additional uses. "He carved the path of putting under federal protection millions of acres and and beginning our experience of our public lands, unique to the US", he told the Examiner.

Two marine monuments in the Pacific Ocean also would be reduced under Zinke's memo, and a third monument off the MA coast would be modified to allow commercial fishing. The restrictions aren't as stringent as for national parks, but some policies include limits on mining, timber cutting and recreational activities such as riding off-road vehicles.

Trump ordered the review earlier this year after complaining about improper "land grabs" by former presidents, including Barack Obama.

The monuments under review were designated by four presidents over the last two decades. On the opposing side, though, comments called for "rescinding or modifying the existing monuments to protect traditional multiple use, and those most concerned were often local residents associated with industries such as grazing, timber production, mining, hunting fishing, and motorized recreation", Zinke writes.

More news: Emmys: Which Show Will Win the Award for Comedy?

If Trump adopts the recommendations, it would quiet some of the worst fears of his opponents, who warned that vast public lands and marine areas could be lost to states or private interests.

And significant reductions in the size of the monuments, especially those created by Mr Obama, will be seen as another example of Mr Trump seeking to overturn his Democratic predecessor's legacy.

Zinke, in his report to the White House, said past presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, had overstepped their authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act when they drew boundaries for new monuments.

A Los Angeles Times graphic shows the Trump administration's plans for national monuments as of September 2017.

More news: Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton

An aerial photo of Tramp Ridge in Gold Butte National Monument on Friday, July 21, 2017.

Zinke's plan also would allow logging at a newly designated monument in ME and urges more grazing, hunting and fishing at two sites in New Mexico.

He also recommended changes to Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine. "If President Trump acts in support of these recommendations, The Wilderness Society will move swiftly to challenge those actions in court".

"Acting on these recommendations would represent an unprecedented assault on our parks and public lands, and undermine bipartisan progress to protect our lands and waters that dates to Theodore Roosevelt", said Jamie Williams, president of the Wilderness Society.

More news: US citizen who was fighting for ISIS surrenders in Syria

The Natural Resources Defense Council believes the Trump administration is using a classic negotiating tactic in its review of national monuments: threatening the worst and spinning the ultimate outcome, however outrageous, as a reasonable result.