Carrizo Plain spared by national monument review

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune The two buttes that make up the namesake for the Bears Ears National Monument reveal the vast landscape surrounding them as part of the 1.35 million acres in southeastern Utah protected by President Barack Obama

They also said that if the White House supports the notions filed by Zinke they will act swiftly. The report calls for boundary changes at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which straddles the border between OR and California; and looser restrictions on activities at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande Del Norte National Monuments, both in New Mexico.

Established Jan. 6, 2009: This George W. Bush-designated marine national monument, encompassing almost 13,400 square miles in the South Pacific Ocean, includes Rose Atoll, a small Samoan island and the southernmost point of the U.S. The monument also includes Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1973, with about 20 acres of land and 1,600 acres of lagoon.

"Adherence to the Act's definition of an "object" and "smallest area compatible" clause on some monuments were either arbitrary or likely politically motivated or boundaries could not be supported by science or reasons of practical resource management", Zinke found.

President Barack Obama established both the Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.

The main takeaway from them is that Zinke believes President Trump's most recent predecessors, including Republican President George W. Bush, designated too much land in these national monuments by using the Antiquities Act, while limited their use.

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".

In the leaked copy of the recommendations Mr Zinke reportedly calls for the easing of regulations on grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing. He said many also failed to adequately account for local opinion.

The monuments are large marine sanctuaries created around United States territories.

The recommendations add a surprising uncertainty to two vast areas set aside a year ago by the Obama administration, which established the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, about 130 miles off Cape Cod, and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, some 87,000 acres in Maine's North Woods.

Zinke also recommended that Trump establish three new national monuments.

The Sand to Snow National Monument, 154,000 acres in San Bernardino County that provides key wildlife corridors near Joshua Tree National Park, was removed from the review by Zinke last month.

"The Trump Administration does not comment on leaked documents, especially internal drafts which are still under review by the President and relevant agencies", White House spokeswoman Kelly Love told the Post.

Other environmental organizations quickly weighed in Monday morning.

Zinke wants to allow trees to be cut on parts of the land and to ensure that "traditional uses" like snowmobiling and hunting are taken into account. "Secretary Zinke has just sold out public lands and all the people who rely on them". "It looks like he's made some really good recommendations". "We will have to wait to see what potential legal actions by outside entities are generated and see how things work out from there".

The leaked report was first reported by the Washington Post. "In the face of new threats to Oregon's public lands and our natural resources, I call on Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to consider all legal options necessary to defend our OR values, and to be ready to challenge any overreach of executive power".

Tawnery said the proposal to protect Badger-Two Medicine in western Montana was an idea his group has long advocated, but added, "An attack on one monument is an attack on them all".

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