Change My Be Coming for Some National Monuments


Edwards' district includes the areas around Gold Butte.

In July, O&C County Commissioners met with the Interior Secretary, along with U.S. Rep. Greg Walden.

In April Trump ordered the Department of the Interior to review the designation of 27 national monuments ― those larger than 100,000 acres protected since 1996. Interior Secretary Zinke asked for the public's opinion, and he got it.

In the past, Congressman Steve Pearce has called for reducing the size of the monument from more than 496,000 acres to 60,000 acres. The Katahdin region is at the heart of Maine's timber industry, and much of the opposition to the monument came from industry representatives and local residents concerned about giving the federal government a foothold to control land use in the area.

They also said that if the White House supports the notions filed by Zinke they will act swiftly.

Utah's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Nevada's Gold Butte, Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou, and marine monuments including Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll are on Zinke's chopping block, the Post reported.

The secretary's set of suggestions also would alter the way all 10 selected obelisks are supervised.

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

"The fate of this OR treasure should not be another state secret on top of everything else this administration has tried to keep in the dark".

The recommendation also proposed revisions to the monument's management plan - a document that has yet to be completed - "to continue to protect objects and prioritize public access; infrastrucutre upgrades, fix and maintenance; traditional use; tribal cultural use; and hunting and fishing rights", according to a draft of Zinke's report obtained by The Washington Post.

It is not clear when the president will announce his decision. A White House spokeswoman did not reply to request for comment. When he was president, Barrack Obama expanded the monument by 48,000 acres to protect biodiversity.

Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director for the Natural Resources Council of ME, said in a press release that "without more details, we can not yet judge whether these recommendations are acceptable or consistent with the overwhelming view of the ME people".

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Rarely do presidential administrations propose shrinking monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

St. Clair has said he has no plans to sue the Trump administration but would cooperate with those who do. Plus, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act affirms only Congress has the authority to reduce the size of national monuments.

"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 memo states.

Conservation groups argue that Obama's designation of Gold Butte protected existing water rights.

"Without these areas, we will lose protection for the snowpack that Jenny Creek badly needs to maintain cold water supplies for the redband trout and other native fishes in the creek", Williams wrote in an email.

In a 2011 report, a group of scientists said numerous region's species relied on habitat outside the monument's then-boundaries, where they faced threats from logging, grazing and development.

Auster said that to allow trawlers, pots and pot gear in the monument, which spans 4,913 square miles, "will have significant effects on conservation of marine wildlife in the monument".

Eric Molvar, executive director with Western Watersheds Project, said the memo also threatens to expand natural resource extraction in National Monuments, including southern Oregon.

"It's nice that somebody listened and took our recommendation and did something with it", said Kevin Brown, general manager of the Virgin Valley Water District that serves the northeastern corner of Clark County, on Monday.

But for reasons not spelled out in Zinke's memo, he recommended no changes.

"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.