Conservation safeguards on a “handful” of national monuments across the US could be rolled back following the delivery on Thursday of the White House’s long-awaited review of such public lands.
While the details of Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to the president were not released to the public, the Washington Post, citing multiple individuals briefed on the decision, said the secretary had called for the downsizing of three monuments: the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Utah, and the Cascade-Siskiyou monument in Oregon. No further details were given.
There is considerable legal doubt over the executive’s power to eliminate national monument status. Conservation groups fear the review will rather open portions of such lands to exploitative use.
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