Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is planning to ask Trump to slash the barriers of two additional national monuments, only a day after Trump cut over half of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments.
Donald Trump declared the largest reduction of monuments in history in Utah on Monday, under the the Antiques Act, which he claims gives him the power to modify national monuments at his discretion, without any regards to public outcry. A day later, Zinke announced his recommendation, in a report, to cut Oregon and California’s Cascade-Siskiyou and Nevada’s Gold Butte national monuments, but only by small amounts.
“I will be in the president’s office multiple times going through specifics of it as time passes,” he stated in an interview with the press. The Navajo tribe is presently suing Trump over the giant rollback of protected lands, disputing that the Antiquities Act does not give him the power to reduce previously declared monuments, however, the Trump administration asserts that it does. Despite this, Zinke told reporters that he was “fairly confident” his suggesti0ns would be accepted.
“The Antiquities Act was designed to protect rather than prevent, and no president, under the authority of the Antiquities Act, has the authority to arbitrarily remove the public from their lands, reduce public access, reduce hunting and fishing and reduce traditional uses, unless those uses threaten the object,” Zinke stated.
“The president was absolutely right in asking for a review.”