Ryan Zinke: National Monuments Should Shrink

Oregon Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, said she and other state lawmakers are committed to fighting the proposals in the memo.

Bob Rees, founder of the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association, said: "Rolling back protections on Cascade-Siskiyou would be the worst attack on OR hunters and anglers I've seen in my 20 years as a fishing guide".

California environmentalists and numerous state's political leaders were alarmed when Berryess Snow Mountain along with five other national monuments located in California were first published as part of the list that Zinke was reviewing.

Trump's actions end speculation fueled by Zinke announcement on August 24 that he had finished his review and sent a report to the White House.

The memorandum also singled out Katahdin National Monument in Maine, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in Massachusetts, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico and Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico.

Zinke also calls for ten sites to allow now restricted hunting, grazing and "active timber management", and to resume commercial fishing in portions of the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and the Atlantic Ocean near MA. That would allow logging, or "active timber management", in Katahdin Woods and Waters in ME, and road upgrades and Defense and Homeland Security activities in Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico. (Recreational fishing is still allowed in all marine monuments.) Despite the fact that the vast majority of USA waters are, and will remain, open to commercial fishing, Secretary Zinke wants to open fragile ecosystems like the coral reefs at Rose Atoll and Pacific Remote Islands, as well as whale, dolphin, and porpoise habitat at Northeast Canyons and Seamounts to industrial use.

A law signed in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, called the Antiquities Act, gives presidents the authority to establish national monuments without a vote of Congress, something that almost every president has done since then. Threatening to erase 90 percent of the monument, as the state of Utah has requested, sends a clear message to looters who have run rampant over the years that those sites are not worthy of protection. The Supreme Court found that Roosevelt had not overstepped.


Rarely do presidential administrations propose shrinking monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

"Gutting protections and changing boundaries for national monuments would be a sad chapter in our country's history", said Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association.

"If protecting the objects of scientific interest is an important factor in the actions of President Trump, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and its boundaries will remain intact". He notes that the 1.8-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante contains "several billion tons of coal and large oil deposits".

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke recommended at least four land monuments be shrunk and that 10 sites allow commercial activity.

Regardless of the legal questions relating to presidential powers, Congress has the authority to create national monuments or make any changes, including abolishing them.

But critics, led by LePage, convinced Trump to include Katahdin Woods and Waters on a list of 27 national monuments that Zinke would review.

Aside from their size, Zinke found other faults with the creation of the 10 monuments.


During the seven years since its adoption, the Carrizo Plain management plan has served as a valuable tool to manage the monument, and enjoys universal support amongst various stakeholders including oil companies, livestock operators, Native American tribes, land management agencies, conservation organizations, and the public - all of which are represented on the Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee which has helped manage the monument since its designation.

The review raised alarm among conservationists who said protections could be lost for areas that are home to ancient cliff dwellings, towering sequoia trees, deep canyons and ocean habitats.

Environmentalists said fishing within the monuments could harm the ecosystems and limit their ability to replenish tuna and other fish stocks.

Presidents Clinton and Obama respectively created the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears monuments.

Environmental groups Sunday night criticized Zinke for urging the president to alter any national monuments, and vowed to sue. The suit is now on hold until Trump's review is finalised. They are Pacific Remote Islands, a vast area southeast of Hawaii that includes Wake Island and Johnston Atoll, and Rose Atoll, west of American Samoa. This year, more than 200 scientists signed a letter to Sec.

The attacks on three marine national monuments have one thing in common: industrial-scale fishing operations.

When Obama announced the Bears Ears designation in December, the Interior Department said the designation maintained uses such as tribal collection of plants and firewood, off-highway vehicle recreation, hunting and fishing, and grazing. "American outdoor enthusiasts should have more access to public lands, not less". That's several more than previously reported.



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