"It is my hope that President Trump takes this opportunity to begin realigning uses of the law with its intended goal".
There are a handful of examples of presidents reducing the size of national monuments over the past 100 years, but even Zinke has said it would be tricky and unprecedented for the president to rescind a monument altogether. If you have any questions about monument review, please ask me.
Zinke did not outline other details in the AP interview and it was not immediately clear if his review will be made public. Activities that were already permitted on the land are generally protected.
Bears Ears was designated on December 28 by then-President Barack Obama, who used the Antiquities Act to declare 553.5 million acres as national monuments during his term, nearly twice as many acres as all presidents combined since the act took effect under President Teddy Roosevelt.
"Zinke and the Trump administration want to gut the power of the Antiquities Act to shore up the fossil fuel industry", May Boeve, executive director of the environmental organization 350.org, said in a statement in April.
Since that time, too, Congress passed the Federal Land Management and Policy Act in 1976, which remade public land law and reserved more power over national monuments for Congress. "These are the places where we work, where we play and where we connect to our shared history - and today, some of these places are in jeopardy", said outdoor-sports retailer REI in a statement urging customers to write Zinke. He also recommended at the time that Bears Ears national monument in Utah be downsized.
How much are you giving away to the coal, oil, and gas industries, @SecretaryZinke? According to his sources, logging would not be allowed in the monument, though the Secretary would recommend that demonstrations of logging tools and practices be included to honor the region's heritage.
He also spoke of protecting tribal interests and historical land grants, pointing to monuments in New Mexico, where ranchers have opposed two monuments proclaimed by Barack Obama. Orrin Hatch said Zinke followed the proper process with his review. "The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, off the coast of New England, contains some of the richest, most pristine marine habitat anywhere off the continental United States". However, he did say that a "handful" could be reduced in size. Zinke seemed to acknowledge that. Zinke also took tours of monuments by foot, car, air and horseback, and his agency reviewed more than 2.4 million public comments that were submitted.
"Secretary Zinke needs to level with the American people".
"I'm sure fishermen will appreciate any relief they get from the administration, but unless the monument is revoked it won't cure the legal problem that we highlight in the lawsuit", said Jonathan Wood, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing the fishing groups. The Interior Department has estimated that the lands under its management hosted 443 million visitors in 2015, supporting $45 billion in economic output and almost 400,000 jobs. "And it flies in the face of the original intention for our national monuments-to save America's most special places for everyone, not just an entitled few".
More than anything, he pushed back against conservationists' claims that the Trump administration was planning to sell-off or otherwise privatize federal lands.
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