Carrizo Plain National Monument remains under threat

Interior said that Zinke's 120-day review included more than 60 meetings with "advocates and opponents of monument designations".

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior is recommending reducing southern Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, according to the Washington Post.

"The Trump administration believes President Trump has the legal authority to unilaterally alter the borders of a national monument". President Trump referred to the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument by President Barack Obama as a "massive federal land grab". The law calls on presidents to set aside the smallest area possible when making a monument, but Mr. Obama and other past presidents have used it to cordon off millions of acres of land and water. Instead, it released a report summary that described each of the 27 protected areas scrutinized as "unique".

The Washington Post report also reveals Zinke's recommendations call for changing the management rules for several sites, such as allowing fishing in marine monuments where it is now prohibited.

It went on to state, "The responsibility of protecting America's public lands and unique antiquities should not be taken lightly; nor should the authority and the power granted to a President under the Act".

Environmentalists and fishing groups said Thursday they are prepared for a legal battle in the wake of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's decision to preserve the nation's first Atlantic Ocean marine monument.

We don't have an official release yet, but word is that NONE of the 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration will be completely eliminated.

Environmental groups contend the Antiquities Act allows presidents to create national monuments but gives only Congress the power to modify them.

The administration argued the act had been misused by presidents to create oversized monuments that hinder energy development, grazing, and other uses.

"Whether the preservation of Native American sacred sites or a natural wonder of the world, public lands and waters are granted monument status for a reason". Two days later, a second order - called "Implementing An America-First Offshore Energy Strategy" - expanded the review to marine monuments, including the largest contiguous fully protected conservation area under US jurisdiction, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Currently, they make up millions of acres of protected land and seabed.

Block said the claim "that these lands are being opened up for oil and gas is patently false".

Just before leaving office in January, President Barack Obama added 48,000 acres to the OR monument, which encompasses an area where the Cascade, Klamath and Siskiyou Mountains converge.

Chu lashed out at Zinke for failing to publicly disclose specifics of his recommendations, and indicating only that he was suggesting size-reductions for a "handful" of the monuments under review.

Zinke's report summary acknowledged that the comments received during the public comment period for the national monuments review were "overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining existing monuments" but characterized that support as being the result of "a well-orchestrated national campaign organized by multiple organizations".

"They protect critical wildlife habitat, boost local economies, provide recreation opportunities and improve the health and well-being of the American people". However, changes could be made to the scope or management of monuments, Zinke said. The Utah State Legislature passed a resolution earlier this year calling on the president to rescind both monuments. "Honestly, if what really happens is the President decides to walk away from this thing because there was a show of force, and the Department of Interior doesn't release anything, that's a win".

Anne Mitchell of the Maine Woods Coalition says the federal government already owns enough land without the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and others.

  • Leroy Wright