The Trump administration just severely reduced the size of the Bear’s Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalate national monuments in Utah. Predictably, tribes and conservation groups reacted with outrage, promptly filing lawsuits to reverse this action.
More than likely, Gold Butte in Nevada and Cascade Siskiyou in Oregon will also be trimmed, not to mention the possibility of rule changes affecting several other monuments. More lawsuits will certainly ensue.
An incredible number of articles have been written on this matter over the past few days. Here’s a short reading list providing useful background and context…
Well now, this is interesting. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke reportedly suggested the Badger-Two Medicine area be given national monument status . . .
Back in March, nine days into his new post as Interior Department secretary, Ryan Zinke accepted a blessing ceremony from Blackfeet tribal leaders, and heard their request to protect the Badger-Two Medicine area next to their reservation by Glacier National Park.
On Sunday, a leaked draft of Zinke’s report to President Donald Trump on revisions to national monument indicates he proposes to grant that wish.
On the next-to-last page of a 19-page memo advising Trump to amend the boundaries and management plans of 10 national monuments, Zinke suggested the creation of three new monuments:
the Union Army Camp Nelson training center for African-American soldiers in the Civil War in Kentucky,
the home of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock this week, here’s a pretty good write-up on the potential proposal to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument . . .
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday recommended that the new Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be reduced in size and said Congress should step in to designate how selected areas of the 1.3 million-acre site are managed.
Zinke made the recommendation as part of an interim report to President Donald Trump on the scenic swath of southern Utah with red rock plateaus, cliffs and canyons on land considered sacred to tribes.
Trump signed an executive order in April directing Zinke to review the designation of dozens of national monuments on federal lands, calling the protection efforts “a massive federal land grab” by previous administrations.