Maine AG challenges Trump's authority to abolish monument

Maine AG challenges Trump's authority to abolish monument

After a 45-day review, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on a conference call Monday his office is recommending that President Donald Trump re-draw Bears Ears National Monument's boundary-though it's still up in the air how much land he wants to shave from the 1.3-million-acre monument. President Donald Trump's call to review over two dozen.

"The previous administration used a 100-year-old law known as the Antiquities Act to unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control", Trump said of Obama's decision to protect the Utah land.

Zinke said some of the Bears Ears National Monument should be designated for conservation or recreation.

On Monday, Zinke issued an interim report on the 1.3-million-acre monument in Southeast Utah, in compliance with an executive order by President Trump. "And we think that government overreach interferes with those connections that we have to the land", said Bruce Adams, a San Juan County commissioner.

In terms of protection, national monuments are generally considered one step below national parks. Further, she argues that, while the law allows presidents to create national monuments, the executive branch has no authority to abolish or reduce one. While a handful of monuments established established before 1940 have been modified, none of these past boundary adjustments have been challenged - or upheld - in court. "It's a thinly veiled attempt to sell out our public lands and an insult to people across the country who love and care about our great outdoors". We can not and will not stand idly by and let it happen.

Sen. Mike Lee released a statement commending Secretary Zinke for the report and recommendations.

He said he discussed the idea with the tribes and that they came away happy with the plan.

Zinke added, "Co-management will be absolutely key going forward and I recommend that the monument, and especially the areas of significant cultural interest, be co-managed by the Tribal nations".

Zinke toured Bears Ears last month on foot, horseback and helicopter and met with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and other state leaders who opposed Obama's December designation of Bears Ears monument. The Center for Biological Diversity's public lands program director Randi Spivak slammed the interim report. Rob Bishop (R) and Jason Chaffetz (R) meant to protect Bears Ears legislatively, was a years-long effort that didn't even make it out of the House.

"The secretary's report is nonsense", Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said in a statement.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke talks to reporters before departing Kanab Airport on May 10, 2017, in Kanab, Utah. It doesn't reference any maps or specify legislative language. "Go back to the drawing board on Bears Ears and work with Congress as well as local stakeholders to find a viable and carefully crafted solution".

A public comment period that closed in late May generated hundreds of thousands of comments, with the majority expressing hope that monuments like Bears Ears remain protected.

"The Secretary's recommendation isn't about doing what's best for Utah".

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