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Environmental, outdoor groups vow to fight national monument reductions

20 September 2017

A leaked memo from Zinke to the president, coming after a four-month review, recommends that two Utah monuments - Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante - be reduced, along with Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou. 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.

One of the people who was behind the creation of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recommendation to President Donald Trump recommending downsizing it has several errors.

In all, Zinke recommends reducing six of 27 national monuments he looked at after Trump ordered the review earlier this year, saying previous presidents had used the Antiquities Act inappropriately.

President Trump's Interior secretary made similar recommendations for resizing the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll, suggesting they also be opened to commercial fishing. Most of those that are under review, after Trump complained too much land was locked up in the protected spaces, were created by his Democratic predecessors Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. Historically, presidents generally use the act to protect areas of historical and natural significance.

Bob Rees, founder of the Clackamas, Ore. -based Northwest Guides and Anglers Association, said he "has never been more disappointed" in the proposal to roll back protections in the Cascade-Siskiyou monument. The Trump administration argues that past presidents have overreached.

The monuments targeted in the memo were created by former presidents George W.

"The only way it could be better if it was from the same year the O&C act happened, because it was the same lawyer who worked on the O&C act, he knew the legislative intent", Freeman said. Only a small fraction, she said, mentioned anything about timber-cutting.

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The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday, Sep 17, that the publication had reviewed the report Zinke sent President Trump in August. Critics of the report contend the language about "traditional uses" may be an effort to resume logging, oil drilling and other activities now prohibited under national monument protections.

"You can't pick and choose what laws you want to follow when it comes to public lands management", Pedery said, "The idea that we're going to fund county government through essentially strip-mining public lands sounds absurd to people who moved to OR because of our natural amenities". He said that while every monument is unique, public lands are not for sale.

He also asked President Trump urge Congress to "enable tribal co-management of designated cultural resources" for OMDPN, according to that report.

The monuments encompass an area larger than CT and were created by Democratic presidents under a century-old law. He also noted that while the permitted amount of grazing is the same as it was in 1996, the number of cattle in the monument has decreased because of restrictions on moving water lines, vegetation management and maintenance of fences and roads.

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".

Wilderness Society President Jamie Williams called Zinke's recommendations "an unprecedented assault on our parks and public lands" and told USA Today that the Trump administration had no authority to make the cuts. "We stand up for the almost 3 million people who urged the administration to protect these monuments - in court, if necessary". A spokeswoman for the fisheries council says it is working on rules that would freeze the footprint where commercial fishing is now allowed in Atlantic slopes and canyons, including in some parts of the monument, but would not bar it altogether.

Environmental, outdoor groups vow to fight national monument reductions