Trump to order review of national monuments

Geneva Matthews
April 26, 2017

Trump's order, scheduled to be signed at the Department of the Interior on Wednesday, won't reverse any previous designations - including Bears Ears - but will call for a review, rather, of the law that enabled its creation. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

Eugene Conlogue, a former town manager in Millinocket, said the president shouldn't have unilateral power to create a monument without approval from local residents or without an appeal process.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 allows the president to set aside important assets from drilling, mining and development.

Rose Marcario, president and CEO of the outdoor outfitter Patagonia, said the review "is an assault on America's most treasured lands and oceans".

President Obama designated the 1.35 million acres of land in southern Utah as Bears Ears in National Monument. In the case of Bears Ears, he said that the federal government should coordinate with Utah officials and lawmakers. President Clinton declared the site a national monument in 2000.

That declaration was criticized by proponents of the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository because the national monument cut off a possible rail route for transportation of waste through Utah. It's fair to say, as we have learned more about habitat and the importance of connected habitat and landscapes more broadly.

While the Stonewall National Monument, designated as such in June 24, 2016, the first to honor the LGBTQ rights struggle, was not named by the official as a concern. He told Cortez Masto he would visit Nevada and talk to stakeholders before completing his review. Nor does it loosen any environmental or conservation regulation on any land or marine areas, Zinke said.

Zinke, however, proudly referred to himself as a "Teddy Roosevelt guy" and said that he would abide by what he promised during his confirmation hearing, that "I am absolutely against transfer and sale of public lands".

Short said the review is more about the impact on local landowners, although the review would include the Antiquities Act. Trump's order would authorize a review, not an outright rollback, of monument designations.

If it marks, instead, the start of an effort to limit or repeal the Antiquities Act, "that's another story", Huffman said, but he thinks it is intended "just to feed the [political] base".

"Introducing this uncertainty and encouraging the removal of protections for these places not only robs the American people of our history but it also hurts local communities today that rely on these monuments for economic benefits, jobs, tourism and quality of life", added Hartinger.

Gold Butte became a flashpoint in 2014 over an armed standoff between federal employees and rancher Cliven Bundy, his family and militiamen.

Republicans also objected when Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in ME last summer on 87,500 acres of donated forestland.

Trump's review of national monument designations since 1996 amounts to an attack on monuments in general, say conservation groups. The Antiquities Act was a well-intentioned response to a serious problem: the looting and destruction of cultural and archaeological sites.

Many of these bills - none of which have gone anywhere in congress - were sponsored or supported by Utah's congressional delegation, who have been the loudest voices lobbying Trump to act, in large part due to their displeasure over the Bears Ears National Monument, which President Obama created after years of negotiations and public outreach.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

Discuss This Article