Friday, 22 June, 2018

Interior IDs 27 monuments for possible end to protections

FILE- This Interior IDs 27 monuments for possible end to protections
Ellis Copeland | 06 May, 2017, 08:08

Twenty-seven monuments on federal land are under review, including Hanford Reach in Washington, which was designated a national monument in 2000 and occupies almost 200,000 acres.

On April 26, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling for the review of some of America's national monuments.

The Interior Department confirmed Friday that Zinke will take a four-day listening tour to discuss Bears Ears as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, both of which are under review as part of Trump's executive order.

The review also targets five marine monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, including a huge reserve in Hawaii established in 2006 by President George W. Bush and expanded past year by President Barack Obama. They said the monument designation will stymie growth by closing the area to new commercial and energy development. The Interior Department is reviewing a slew of monuments due to their sizes - greater than 100,000 acres.

The release from the Interior Department said the Katahdin monument is singled out for review "to determine whether the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders".

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Trump's order also targets the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, created by Clinton in 1996, and Katahdin Woods and Waters in ME, created a year ago by Obama. The land east of Maine's Baxter State Park was bought by Burt's Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, whose foundation donated it to the federal government.

The Interior Department has not finalized Zinke's schedule, but the secretary is expected to meet representatives of the Navajo Nation, as well as other members of the five-tribe coalition that led the effort to create the monument, in Salt Lake City on Sunday, said Jackson Brossy, Washington representative of the Navajo Nation. He's disregarding the Native Americans, the first people of this nation.

Zinke will look at 27 land and marine monuments during his 45-day review and has 120 days to make his final recommendations to Trump.

Native Americans have complained that Interior has ignored numerous requests from tribal leaders and monument supporters for meetings with Zinke or his staff - while he has met with the San Juan County Commission, Utah's congressional delegation and others opposed to the Bears Ears designation. "This is sacred land".

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