Zinke Says New Mexico Monuments Won't Shrink

Dec 07, 2017, 01:27
Zinke Says New Mexico Monuments Won't Shrink

Those sites are protected under the 1996 Antiquities Act.

Monument supporters argue that issues related to public access and concerns about border security in southern New Mexico were addressed in the original proclamations.

His 20-page report, which the executive order called on him to prepare, also did not include the Stonewall Monument in a list of 10 monuments he recommended be changed and reduced in size. He said the designation was in recognition of the 1969 Stonewall riots triggered by a police raid on the bar that historians consider the starting point of the modern LGBT rights movement. He said that if land no longer falls within a monument boundary it will continue to be federal land and managed by whichever agency managed the land before designation.

At the time Trump issued his executive order on April 26, LGBT activists in NY expressed concern that a little-noticed clause in the order could impact small national monuments such as the Stonewall, even though Trump said his aim was to downsize national monuments located mostly in the western US that consisted of hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

Zinke said the more than 2.5 million public comments on his review "overwhelmingly" favored the monuments remain unchanged.

"We are an ocean group, but we care about this attack on land monuments because an attack on one monument is an attack on all", said Marine Conservation Institute President Lance Morgan.

"There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement - but we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and co-operation", Trump said.

Zinke said Tuesday he also supports cutting the size of Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monuments.

Defying dire, worldwide warnings, Trump insisted that after repeated peace failures it was past time for a new approach, starting with what he said was his decision merely based on reality to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel's government. Both are located in Utah. Environmentalists, however, criticized Trump's decision and vowed to fight the action in court.

"There is no explanation in the Proclamation as to why the objects are threatened by well-regulated commercial fishing", Zinke wrote, referring to President Obama's proclamation establishing the 3.14-million-acre nautical monument in 2016.

Zinke agreed with VVWD's request for access to its water rights, and in his summary report to President Trump, he recommended that Gold Butte be one of nine national monuments placed under consideration for change. Today, President Trump and Secretary Zinke are doubling down on their illegal and unpopular attack on public lands and waters by proposing to rip away protections from even more of America's favorite places in the Nevada desert and the lush forests of OR and Northern California.

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