Zinke wants 10 national monuments shrunk or opened to mining, logging and hunting

Credit: BLM

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted a report to President Trump back in August that recommended changes to “only a handful” of our national monuments. But a new 19-page leaked memo makes clear he really meant two handfuls—and really big ones. Zinke suggests either downsizing or opening to extractive industries 10 currently protected national monuments. Among the targeted are Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and Nevada’s Gold Butte National Monument. The leaked memo also recommends opening Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to timber harvesting and calls for altering the proclamations for the following monuments: Pacific Remote Islands, Rose Atoll, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Organ Mountains, and Rio Grande Del Norte. “It would be horrific to change these areas of beautiful rivers, canyons and architectural sites. Trees are meant to be vertical in conservation, not horizontal. That’s not how you manage a national park unit,” says Kristen Brengel, vice-president of government affairs at the National Parks Conservation Association. “We hope the president won’t act on these recommendations but if he does, we will be ready.”

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