Even though environmental groups and the current administration have been fighting since inauguration day, the battle for Bears Ears National Monument is far from ending anytime soon.
The New York Times is reporting that secretary of the interior and Montana native, Ryan Zinke is recommending that Trump vastly draw back the borders of the recently appointed National Monument. The suggestion, which was sent to the president via this memo, is just the latest administration move to draw ire from environmental and conservationists groups.
We are disappointed that Secretary Zinke recommended #BearsEars boundaries be revised, despite his clear statement that he values national monuments and the overwhelming public support for protecting them. Speak up now to ensure current protections remain intact for all national monuments under review. We have less than a month to unite for our public lands.
In the memo, Zinke recommends granting Native Tribes “co-manager” designations in order to give tribes greater influence over their own land holdings. Still, the first action item listed on the memo is the reduction of National Monument land in favor of “multi-use practices” with one policy expert saying the bill is a “slap in the face” to native tribes whose archaeological heritage dots the landscape. Furthermore, different designations could hold different management best practices and could even open up land for oil and gas exploration in addition to a number of other practices in what would otherwise be forbidden on National Monument land.
Even though the recommendation is in the hands of the executive branch, don’t expect any decision soon as the president waits on the complete review, which won’t be complete and on the president’s desk for a few more months.
Find the entire New York Times article here: Interior Secretary Recommends Shrinking Borders of Bears Ears Monument