"Interior Secretary Proposes Shrinking Four National Monuments"

"BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT, Utah — Parts of this sprawling region of red-rock canyons and at least three other national monuments would lose their strict protection and could be reopened for new mining or drilling under proposals submitted to President Trump by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday, according to congressional aides and others who have been briefed on the report.

Environmentalists, ranchers, tribal governments and Western lawmakers had been watching closely to see if Mr. Zinke would propose changing the borders of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument, which President Barack Obama established at the end of his term, and other scenic and historic areas under federal protection.

Shrinking the monuments would be widely seen as a direct blow to Mr. Obama’s environmental legacy, and would probably prompt the first major legal test of a century-old conservation law.

Mr. Zinke was believed to be leaning toward such a step. But when he submitted his recommendations on Thursday, he declined to announce specifically what he had proposed for Bears Ears or the other monuments under review. He referred to his recommendations only in general terms, saying they would “provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands.”"

Julie Turkewitz and Lisa Friedman report for the New York Times August 24, 2017.


"Interior secretary recommends Trump alter at least three national monuments, including Bears Ears" (Washington Post)

"National Monuments: Zinke Pushes To Shrink 'Handful' Of Sites, No Eliminations" (Greenwire)

"Greens Threaten Lawsuit Over Potential Monument Reductions" (The Hill)

"U.S. Agency To Recommend Scaling Back Some National Monuments" (Reuters)

"Secrecy Surrounding Plan to Trim U.S. Monuments Spurs Suspicions" (Bloomberg)

"Changes Coming To US Protected Lands, But Details Unknown" (AP)

"Feinstein Calls On Trump Admin To Release National Monuments Report" (The Hill)

"California To Take ‘Swift Legal Action’ If Trump Allows Drilling At National Monuments" (Sacramento Bee)

Source: NY Times, 08/25/2017