WaPo: Interior Secretary Zinke Calls For Shrinking At Least 4 National Monuments

Interior Secretary Endorses Shrinking 6 National Monuments

Secretary Zinke was supposed to submit a final report on August 24th, and indeed, the memo contains the words "final report" in the subject line. Zinke's central premise is that monuments are supposed to protect "the smallest area compatible with proper care and management" but offers no guide for applying this standard while seemingly suggesting it should instead be the smallest area possible. Dozens of the nation's most treasured national parks were first protected as monuments, including Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Acadia and Olympic national parks.

Zinke's recommendations were revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House.

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante, are included in Zinke's report as the Monuments that will be affected.

Those suggestions weren't made public, but the recently-published memo shows that Zinke recommended changes to six national monuments, four of them on land, and two maritime monuments.

"The fate of this OR treasure should not be another state secret on top of everything else this administration has tried to keep in the dark".

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends shrinking at least four national monuments, according to a memorandum obtained by The Washington Post.

A White House spokeswoman declined comment.

The memo contends the president has the authority to shrink the monuments.

But Daniel Rossman, acting California director for The Wilderness Society and a participant in getting the San Gabriel Mountains monument established almost three years ago by President Barack Obama, said the local monument is not out of the woods.

Zinke's recommendations represent the largest attack on "protected public lands" in USA history and "would open up huge swaths of protected lands to drilling and mining speculators and other special interests", League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski said Monday in a statement. The monument, encompassing 4,913 square miles off the coast of New England, protects ecological resources and species including deep-sea corals; sperm, fin, and sei whales; Kemp's ridley sea turtles; and deep-sea fish.

Conservationists haven't been happy with this idea to begin with, and were displeased with what they saw when the memo leaked.

Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is on the short list of wild lands that President Trump's administration wants to shrink. Jacky Rosen and Ruben Kihuen, both Democrats, have warned the Trump administration not to change the Nevada boundaries of Gold Butte and Basin and Range, citing public support and economic benefits from outdoor recreation. Help us stop Trump and Zinke before they decimate our national monuments forever.

Word that U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is proposing to downsize Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada drew condemnation from environmentalist advocates and Democratic elected officials, but a measured cheer from the head of a southern Nevada water district with springs in the area.

A poll conducted by Western Values Project found that Secretary Zinke's already low job approval rating fell seven points in his home state of Montana after the announcement of his national monuments review.

"It's nice that somebody listened and took our recommendation and did something with it", said Kevin Brown, general manager of the Virgin Valley Water District that serves the northeastern corner of Clark County, on Monday.

We also remain concerned about the announcement in the report that "DOI plans to undertake a review of existing monument management plans" to ensure that they are not impeding certain uses of monument lands.

"It's a good recommendation. We're making sure the proclamation doesn't impede using the land in a way that's reasonable and with common sense", Zinke said in a press conference after the tour and meeting. "It seems promising, but nothing is done until it's done".

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