Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Seeks to Keep Intact Maine's Katahdin Woods & Waters

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Seeks to Keep Intact Maine's Katahdin Woods & Waters

"While I'm heartened to know that the Stonewall dodged the bullet in this round I think it is extremely disturbing and bad this president and his administration is going back and seeking to undo national monument designations", Berman told the Washington Blade.

As President Donald Trump announced Monday, the plan called for substantial reduction of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments in Utah, as well as the Cascade-Siskiyou Monument in OR and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.

A look at how Nevada representatives responded to Tuesday's news on Gold Butte illustrates how heavily politicized this issue has become. Both monuments have been the subject of vigorous public opposition since their designations, in part because they encompassed 1.35 million and 1.7 million acres respectively. 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.

Trump's executive order triggered the review of monuments designated since 1996 under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants the president authority to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value as national monuments. Virgin Valley Water District, responsible for supplying Mesquite and Bunkerville with water, has rights to 2,200 acre feet of water per year in the form of springs on the Virgin Mountains. The 2016 boundary line drawn for the monument enclosed five of the six springs that comprise VVWD water rights.

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended changes to 10 national monuments only a day after President Donald Trump cut the size of two other national monuments. Thus, when public comment was sought on the new monument, VVWD requested that the monument boundary be moved south of the Virgin Mountain ridgeline to exclude the valley water sources.

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. National monuments have been formed by presidential decree since the early 1900s. "This is an example of a special interest", Zinke told reporters. The original stated intent was to designate "the smallest area compatible and management of the objects to be protected".

Myth: The review was done without meeting advocates for national monuments. Contrary to their claims, the Trump administration is ignoring countless local communities and undoing the thoughtful participation that led to the creation of these monuments. The announced change of Utah monuments can not be construed as probable presidential action in regard to Gold Butte National Monument.

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