January 23, 2018

Ryan Zinke Recommends Trump Change 10 National Monuments

06 December 2017, 12:48 | Taylor George

US Interior Secretary Urges Size Cuts to More National Monuments

Interior secretary says Katahdin monument will create 'healthy forest,' recreation space

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will recommend the Badger-Two Medicine be given protection as a National Monument.

Zinke also advised trimming Gold Butte in Nevada and Cascade Siskiyou in OR, but the president hasn't announced final decision on those monuments.

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

Conservation groups say the monument reduction in Utah is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.

Zinke is recommending the management plan be inclusive of the local community and what works for them.

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- Katahdin Woods and Waters, Maine: Zinke said he wants to allow more trees to be cut in some parts by a National Park Service company, and not commercial logging, to make the forest healthy by thinning and landscape improvement.

Trump's Monday order to shrink both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by roughly 1 million acres each would be the largest retraction of publicly owned lands in USA history, which Patagonia also noted on its website.

In copies of the report leaked to the press, Zinke had recommended changes "to promote a healthy forest through active timber management" and to prioritize traditional uses such as hunting and fishing.

Zinke said the more than 2.5 million public comments on his review "overwhelmingly" favored the monuments remain unchanged. There is now no timber harvesting on the monument lands other than for maintenance or to maintain scenic views. The area is considered sacred by the Blackfeet Nation.

Last week, Barnes said the Interior Department had not updated the tribe on the status of the proposed monument at Badger Two-Medicine. He said he would request congressional authority to give the tribe co-management. Located in Kentucky, it's a Civil War-era Union Army training center for African-American regiments.

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