Six Of The National Monuments Being 'Reconsidered' Under Trump Are in California

Six Of The National Monuments Being 'Reconsidered' Under Trump Are in California

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will have 45 days to suggest which, if any, designations should be removed.

Most national monuments have been established with support, although a few have been contested, such as the Grand Teton National Park by Roosevelt, lands in Alaska by Jimmy Carter and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii by George W. Bush.

The action was welcomed by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, a vocal critic of the Bears Ears designation and of what he called "long-standing abuses of the Antiquities Act".

"The way that the Antiquities Act is structured, it essentially authorizes the president to proclaim, but not to modify or revoke, national monuments", Mark Squillace, a law professor at the University of Colorado and an expert on the Antiquities Act, told NPR in February.

"The Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water", he added. "It's time we ended this abusive practice". Zinke will be working over the next four months to review some of the nation's "National Monuments" Zinke clarifies which ones are being considered.

Zinke said that over the past 20 years, the designation of tens of millions of acres as national monuments has limited the lands' use for farming, timber harvesting, mining and oil and gas exploration, among other commercial purposes.

Six Of The National Monuments Being 'Reconsidered' Under Trump Are in California
Six Of The National Monuments Being 'Reconsidered' Under Trump Are in California

But Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, said that national monuments designated by previous presidents are not subject to "Donald Trump's whims", and he vowed to fight back if the review ordered by Trump is just a pretext to "destroy a legacy of conservation built over decades".

"This so-called "review" creates a process to attack the designation of Bears Ears National Monument, and all public lands that are cherished by the American people".

The legal power of a president to rescind monument designations is uncertain. Complaints about people getting kicked off the land are exaggerated, they say, and opposition fades as nearby communities benefit from tourism the monuments attract.

The Pew Charitable Trust is a global non-government organization with the goal of improving public policy through analysis, informing the public through data that identifies issues and trends, and encourage democratic participation and strong communities, according to its website. The Secretary offered "as a kind of bookends of the review" as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (1996) to Bears Ears National Monument (2016).

These are the 26 national monuments President Trump wants to shut down.

Zinke tried to reassure the public as he discussed the executive order stating, "nobody loves public lands more than I do". "This executive order does not remove any monuments". "In his first 100 days in office Trump is determined to turn our public lands and waters into energy sacrifice zones".

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