Zinke recommends eliminating portions of Bears Ears National Mon - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Zinke recommends eliminating portions of Bears Ears National Monument

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By the Bureau of Land Management published on [https://www.flickr.com/photos/mypubliclands/31136247763 Flickr] under a CC licence. {{keep local}} By the Bureau of Land Management published on [https://www.flickr.com/photos/mypubliclands/31136247763 Flickr] under a CC licence. {{keep local}}

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that President Trump eliminate portions of the Bears Ears National Monument. 

In his memorandum, Zinke says:

"The Act authorizes the President to designate objects of scientific or historic interest on Federal lands for protection as a monument as defined in the establishing proclamation, but the authority to reserve lands as part of a monument is limited to an area that is 'the smallest area compatible' with the proper care and management of those objects." 

Based on these factors, Zinke believes the protected area can be updated to reflect the "smallest area compatible." 

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala: 

“This is an undeniable attack on our national monuments and America's public lands. The decision should be an easy one—more than 1 million Americans, including Utahns by a 9 to 1 margin, have asked President Trump to leave Bears Ears National Monument alone. Instead of reinforcing America’s conservation heritage, Secretary Zinke is recommending President Trump take actions that are both unprecedented and illegal.

"The law is clear: only Congress can modify or erase a national monument. This report, while disappointing, is not a surprise. President Trump made it clear the fix was in from the moment he signed the executive order, despite overwhelming public support for national monuments."

The Antiquities Act of 19806 gives the president authority to create, but not modify or rescind national monuments. According to wilderness.org, the president can use the Antiquities Act to:

  • Protect special natural, historical and cultural areas as national monuments
  • Expand monument boundaries
  • Direct resources toward monument management
  • Re-designate monuments as national parks

In April, AP News reported that Trump signed an Executive Order requiring that the Antiquities Act be reviewed.

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