The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument is officially on the “do not touch” list . . .
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he will not recommend changes to Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument as he continues to review national monuments for possible elimination or reduction.
Zinke says the monument is one of the only free-flowing areas of the Missouri that remains as explorers Lewis and Clark saw it more than 200 years ago.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock had asked Zinke to keep the Breaks monument unchanged as he reviews 27 national monuments designated by previous presidents. President Donald Trump ordered the review, calling many monument designations land grabs by the federal government. Monument designations protect federal land from energy development and other activities.
It looks like the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument is going to be safe from federal “review” . . .
Cutting off public campaigns by proponents and opponents, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday he plans to recommend the Upper Missouri Breaks retain its status as a national monument, effectively taking it off the list of monuments nationwide that could lose their status.
“My likely recommendation will be to leave the Missouri Breaks as is,” Zinke said. “I think it’s settled to a degree that I would rather not open up a wound that has been healed.” Zinke made his remarks at a press conference following his appearance at the Western Governors’ Association meeting.
The announcement shocked people on both sides of the issue.
This is a direct, to-the-point statement just released by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock concerning efforts to “review” the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument . . .
Today, I sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke urging that no changes be made to the designation of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
In May, Secretary Zinke began a review of over 20 National Monuments from around the country pursuant to an Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump. The Missouri River Breaks was one of the monuments designated for review. As part of this process, Secretary Zinke reached out to me for my comments and recommendations regarding the Missouri Breaks National Monument.
The Missouri River Breaks offers world-class, once-in-a-lifetime public lands hunting opportunities for trophy mule-deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. Opportunities like these attract over 130,000 visitors to the area every year and provide an annual influx of $10 million to the local economy. The local economy has come to depend on this. In addition to attracting more visitors, the region has sustained growth in many measures of local economic health and prosperity—including a 23 percent increase in real capita income.
Finally, the Missouri Breaks has remained largely unchanged for over 200 years. The monument designation helps keep it that way for our children and grandchildren to share. For these reasons, I strongly recommended that no changes in the size or to the designation of the Monument should be made.
Places like the Missouri River Breaks are important to Montanans and play a significant role in our way of life. These public lands are our heritage and support an unmatched quality of life. I will continue to fight to preserve public access to our lands, rivers, and streams and I oppose any effort that jeopardizes or calls into question the future of the Missouri River Breaks or any other part of our public lands heritage.
As Secretary Zinke continues his review of the Missouri River Breaks National Monument designation, I urge you to reach out to him HERE to share your own comments and experiences within the area.