Monument Miasma from Vague Zinke Memo

Monument Miasma from Vague Zinke Memo

Monument Miasma from Vague Zinke Memo

Gold Butte National Monument, Nevada 5. Edwards' district includes the areas around Gold Butte.

Steve Pedery, the conservation director at Oregon Wild, said logging areas like the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument isn't going to be the shot in the arm that fixes rural economies in O&C counties.

No other president has tried to eliminate a monument, but they have trimmed them down in size.

In his report, Zinke recommends reducing the size or changing the allowable uses of seven land monuments, including Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada, and allowing commercial fishing in three marine monuments, including Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll in the Pacific, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in the Atlantic. (Recreational fishing is still allowed in all marine monuments.) Despite the fact that the vast majority of USA waters are, and will remain, open to commercial fishing, Secretary Zinke wants to open fragile ecosystems like the coral reefs at Rose Atoll and Pacific Remote Islands, as well as whale, dolphin, and porpoise habitat at Northeast Canyons and Seamounts to industrial use.

"The president does not have the legal authority to change national monument designations, and we're prepared to take legal action to defend them".

In a June letter to Zinke, Baker voiced concerns with the monument designation process and its effects on commercial fishing, and requested that the review include "an evaluation and related finding related to the decision and effects of prohibiting commercial fishing, specifically lobster and red crab fisheries". The review was completed in August but kept under wraps by the administration. The memo, a draft report from the secretary responding to an executive order calling for review of 27 national monuments established by previous presidents, was obtained by the Washington Post on Sunday and the Associated Press on Monday.

A White House spokeswoman declined comment.

The 1906 Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, gives the president broad authority to create national monuments.

If Trump accepts Zinke's recommendations and moves through an executive action to roll back designations, the Natural Resources Defense Council is prepared to go to court, said Rhea Suh, president of the group.

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Bears Ears, designated for federal protection by former President Barack Obama, totals 1.3 million acres in southeastern Utah on land that is sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings. However, President Trump must still act on the recommendations and until he does we will continue working with local BLM officials to ensure that continued access to our water rights is maintained.

"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 reads.

Conservationist groups slammed the recommendation, while fishing groups said they've been making the same proposal all along.

The monuments are large marine sanctuaries created around U.S. territories.

"In this exercise, Trump and Zinke are fighting the will of the American public to gift-wrap pieces of the Pacific Northwest's crown jewel of biodiversity for the logging industry", said Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center.

The monuments recommended for downsizing include red rock canyons in Utah, forest and grassland in OR, and stunning rock formations in Nevada. Zinke visited a handful of national monuments and met nearly exclusively with their opponents, including representatives of the oil, gas and timber industries. The remaining four areas would not have reduced borders, though Zinke does recommended altering how they are used.

"It's a good recommendation".

"The secretary canceled a meeting that he had with us and our supporters and refused to reschedule it", she said.

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