Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Interior Sec Zinke Wants Trump to Shrink 2 More National Monuments

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke
Melinda Barton | 06 December, 2017, 12:53

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday recommended President Donald Trump reduce the size of more national monuments in the western United States, and he lashed out at critics of cuts already announced to protected areas in Utah.

Zinke also advised trimming Gold Butte in Nevada and Cascade Siskiyou in OR, but the president hasn't announced final decision on those monuments.

He says he did not recommend resizing boundaries but did suggest a plan to promote healthy forestry that includes timbering, meaning the growth and thinning of trees. "The federal state remains intact", he continued, noting the enormous size of the Utah monument, which has more square acreage than both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks combined.

Zinke is recommending the management plan be inclusive of the local community and what works for them. Former President Bill Clinton designated 52,000 acres as the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in 2000 - and Obama expanded it by almost 48,000 acres in 2017. He also wants to ensure that "traditional uses" like snowmobiling and hunting are taken into account in a management plan.

The Trump administration is facing lawsuits based on a recent order to shrink Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante by nearly 46 percent.

- Rose Atoll, Pacific Ocean: Allow commercial fishing in the 13,500-square-mile (34,965-square-kilometer) marine monument around the Rose Atoll in American Samoa, a U.S territory.

The Blackfeet tribal council opposes creating a new national monument unless they are allowed to co-manage the area.

Last week, Barnes said the Interior Department had not updated the tribe on the status of the proposed monument at Badger Two-Medicine. Located in Kentucky, it's a Civil War-era Union Army training center for African-American regiments.