Interior Sec. Zinke's memo suggests 2 Utah monuments' size be reduced

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke hikes along the Butler Wash Indian Ruin trail alongside Utah Gov. Gary Herbert during a tour of the Bears Ears National Monument on Monday

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called for shrinking the boundaries of 10 national monuments and lifting current restrictions on logging and mining in and around these protected lands, according to a memo obtained by the Washington Post. But Zinke did recommend changes to ten of the 27 national monuments on the review list, including Bears Ears in Utah, Cascade-Siskiyou in OR and Gold Butte in Nevada.

Since Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted a set of secret recommendations to President Trump in August, reporters and the public have been left to wonder exactly what he wants to do to America's national monuments. He also urged change in the use and/or management of six other monuments: Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine; Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande, both in New Mexico; Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument; Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument; and Rose Atoll Marine National Monument.

The 19-page document comes after a four-month review of more than a dozen monuments ordered by President Donald Trump in April, spurred by complaints over what he called "a massive federal land grab" by former presidents.

Ethan Lane, who directs the Public Lands Council at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said in an email that, "It sounds like the voices of western communities are finally being heard and the promise to preserve grazing inside monuments might finally be kept by the federal government".

Attempting to shrink Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is a clear giveaway to the timber companies that have long wanted to log the old-growth forests of southern Oregon.

So far, most of President Trump's major achievements, such as they are, have consisted of simply canceling, delaying, or rolling back the accomplishments of his predecessor.

Now, thanks to a report leaked to the Washington Post, we know. "As bridge it has value to a lot more than just those 114,000 acres". She said the expansion helps protect biodiversity, especially as the climate changes.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, criticized the Trump administration's entire review process for its "lack of transparency".

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"Congress already set aside these lands eighty years ago for the specific objective of sustainable timber production in the O&C Act, and the president - regardless of party - doesn't have the authority to rewrite the law", said American Forest Resource Council President Travis Joseph.

Adams rejects the idea that the monument designation at Bears Ears was needed to protect Native American cultural resources, saying those resources were already protected by federal law without the designation.

"We were hoping for this to be the outcome" of the review process, said Bruce Adams, chairman of the county commission.

The Antiquities Act gives the president the authority to designate national monuments, but not the authority to rescind or make major modifications.

'It appears that certain monuments were designated to prevent economic activity such as grazing, mining and timber production rather than to protect specific objects, ' the report says.

But, said Zinke, "in some instances the jobs and revenues resulting from tourism do not necessarily offset the lost or forgone revenue resulting from the limitations placed on land development". He says members of his industry will fight the proposed changes to marine national monuments and sanctuaries like Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Katahdin can be seen from an outlook on the Katahdin Loop Road in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The decision was a response to a proposal by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to add some O&C lands to the Oregon Caves National Monument.

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